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Professor Bob Vink (email)
Head, School of Medical Sciences
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8303 4533
Mr David Ellis (email)
Media and Communications Officer
Marketing & Communications
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 421 612 762
Monday, 23 February 2009
The University of Adelaide is calling on more South Australians to donate their bodies to medical science and help train the next generation of doctors.
"Despite advances in medical and surgical treatment, the study and examination of the human body remains one of the most powerful learning tools for our medical students," he says.
The University of Adelaide has been accepting donations of bodies since its medical school was established 124 years ago. It operates a central mortuary facility and a state-wide body donation program on behalf of all the universities in South Australia.
"Our anatomy laboratory is the largest in the State and services approximately 1500 students each week," Professor Vink says. "The Ray Last Anatomy Laboratory has recently undergone a $4 million redevelopment with state-of-the-art Surgical Skills and BioSkills SA facilities, ranking it among the best in Australia."
Historically, South Australians have generously supported the body donation program and have one of the highest donation rates per capita in Australasia.
"The opportunity to be able to dissect the human body is a privilege not available in many parts of the world and this is reflected through the quality of our graduates and our world class research facilities," Professor Vink says.
For the past 12 years the University has held an annual memorial and dedication service for the families and friends of those people who have donated their bodies to science.
"This service is important for a number of reasons. It's a reminder to the community that scientific endeavour is linked to the concerns of humanity. It's also a reminder to scientists and students that their study is often dependent on the trust and involvement of members of the public. And it's a reminder to all of us that the maintenance of human dignity has a pre-eminent place in the pursuit of knowledge," Professor Vink says.
About 150 donor families have been invited to this year's memorial service in Bonython Hall on Wednesday 4 March.
People interested in learning more about the body donation program are asked to contact the School of Medical Sciences on 8303 5998 or www.health.adelaide.edu.au/school_medsci/bodydonation/