Standing in twilight; making way for knowledge

Standing in twilight; making way for knowledge

For a good cause

­Participants at a health awareness programme, in Mysore on Sunday. Dh photoThe meeting, which formally was a health awareness programme, organised by JSS Body Donation Association here on Sunday, for them and their family members, was a mixed bag of emotions.

For, the aged ones had pledged whatever they possessed from birth -- their bodies. And they had come to reiterate their promise, of donating their body at the end of their journey on earth, to the JSS Medical College -- enabling students to gain better knowledge about various illnesses and health conditions on different organs. This knowledge gained by students and researchers, would help change the course of medical treatment for better. They also took this opportunity to convince some of their reluctant family members to execute their last wish of body donation.

In the first ever meeting of cadaver donors, Chairperson of JSS Body Donation Association B N Betkerur -- who has taken the lead in donating the body -- said the Association assumed proper form from being a concept about 14 years ago. “Ever since, many people including politicians, scholars and actors have donated their bodies. If this can help enhance the knowledge among medical students, and help the mode of treatment get better, why should people not do it?” he said.

Putting to rest most apprehensions of the family members of body donors that students treat the bodies with scant regard when they take them up for dissection, Betkerur said this was far from the truth. “Once the person is dead, what difference does it make to know what treatment is being meted out to his body? The body would have served its purpose during its lifetime. After death, it is time to serve the generation that’s going to inherit this earth,” he said.

Nagalakshmi Harihareshwara, wife of renowned writer Harihareshwara who died few months ago, said her husband and herself had decided on donating their bodies long ago. Controlling her emotions and tears welling up, she said: “The ones who died have not returned to share their stories with us. We know nothing about heaven and hell. When my husband died, we immediately informed the hospital and they brought his body here according it such great respect. He still lies here, in peace,” she said, adding donating body was the best contribution one could make for future generations.

Madhuri Tatachari of Bhramara Trust also stressed upon the importance of body donation, to the gathering.  Sharing details about the body donors, Principal Dr H Basavana Gowdappa of JSS Medical College said about 1,140 members have enrolled for body donation from all over the state and the Association had received 144 bodies so far.

“Upon receiving information from the family about the demise of the person, our personnel will reach the place and make arrangements to either transfer the body to our college or preserve it at their residence in case there is waiting involved. We receive bodies from all over the state,” he said.

 A membership drive was also undertaken on the occasion. JSS University Registrar Mruthyunjaya P Kulenur, Medical College Vice Principal Dr B Manjunath, Prof C M Nanjaiah and others were present.

Who can sign cadaver donation forms?

Anyone above 18 years of age can sign body donation forms and register with JSS Body Donation Association. No one can sign or donate body on behalf of someone else.

The Association apart from receiving the body, can also arrange for eyes and other organs to be donated, as per the wish of the dying person. The staff members will also help preserve the body for few days, if the family members wish so. More information can be had from Head of Anatomy Department, JSS Medical College Dr N M Shama Sundar at 0821 - 2491079/ 9845206284. 

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