What started as a random Google search regarding internship opportunities in NGOs at Chennai, led me towards a really useful opportunity to be a legal intern at the MOHAN Foundation. Upon learning about the works of MOHAN Foundation, it only made me more intrigued to try out interning at the foundation and contribute to the cause. Among all the topics I learnt, one of it was voluntary body donation and the Anatomy acts in India. As a law student, the ambiguity and the issues surrounding the whole topic of voluntary body donation and the law in itself kept me hooked.
Learning about Voluntary Body Donation
While researching about voluntary body donation, primarily, the fact that a voluntary body donation is possible is in itself was new to me. Topping it off, I also understood that it is much lower than organ donation in our country. This fact kind of becomes obvious since organ donation has been something that had been relatively publicized more and talked about more in relation with voluntary body donation. The need of cadavers for medical institutions to teach anatomy is higher than ever, because the education of medicine is constantly being widened. As a result of which, even the process of procuring the resources that are required must be widened. However, in India, that’s not the case. Due to the shortage of cadavers, many medical institutions have switched over to simulations to teach anatomy to their students. It is understandable that practicing anatomy through simulations versus realistically practicing on cadavers would have a great difference in the learning experience of the students.
According to me, the aspect of body donation and the procurement of cadavers has been neglected by the government greatly unlike the process of organ donation. Just like how much organs are important for saving lives, the knowledge to transplant, retrieve and even to perform surgery is important. I would say that without the proper knowledgae on surgeries, the procurement of organs will be a waste. It is important to have the knowledge of utilizing the resources as much as the procurement of the resource is done. I personally expect the government to come up with a unified anatomy act for the whole of India, like the THOTA. Apart from issuing the act, the government must also invest in creating awareness regarding voluntary body donation as much as organ donation. Public must be made to understand that just as much as organ donation is to save lives, whole body donation just does the same. It took me 19 long years to come across this issue, this is a good enough example of how much awareness must be created among the public and I hope that does not become the case for the next generation.