Belgaum doctor dissects father's body for research

The deceased had chosen to donate his body for study of anatomy

Belgaum doctor dissects father's body for research

Dr Mahantesh Ramannavar’s dissection of the embalmed body of his father Dr Basavanneppa Ramannavar, who died the same day in 2008, was being telecast live by TV channels.

There was a crowd of dignitaries, mediapersons and students who had gathered at KLE University’s BMK Ayurveda Medical College to witness the ‘historic’ event.

The event was being touted as the second in the world after Dr William Harvey’s famous dissection of his sister’s body to study human circulatory system.

But to Dr Mahantesh Ramannavar, there was nothing unusual about it. He was doing his job, a lofty one that too, to tell the world there is need for more like his father, a famous Ayurvedic doctor, who chose to give his body for study of anatomy than let it burn on a pyre.

“I did not do this for any record. My intention is to inspire people to donate their body and to prepare better doctors,” he said.

The dissection was as per a will of the late doctor, who had espoused cadaver donation during his lifetime to further medical research.

Free dental camps

Dr Basavanneppa, who was 88 when he died, had conducted over 113 free dental camps across India and had developed a painless technique to extract teeth. For his contributions, he had won many awards including Karnataka government’s prestigious Dhanvantari Suvarna Padad.

Dr Basavanneppa wanted his son dissect his body to encourage people to donate their bodies after death for study. Probably why Dr Mahantesh didn’t feel as though he was cutting his father open. “I felt as if I am giving an oil massage to him,” the doctor said.
Before dissection, Dr Mahantesh touched the feet of his father’s body with his hands and forehead. He removed the skin from the right side of the chest and taught first year medical students.

He then displayed parts of the body one by one to the students. The whole process was completed in 45 minutes. In the coming days he would dissect further parts of the body, he added.

The dissection was done as per the system of Ayurveda and in the presence of Dr Mahantesh’s mother Dr Shushiladevi and wife Dr Surekha.

Dr Basavanneppa’s family has established the Dr Rammannavar Charitable Trust, which propogates cadaver donation. Mahantesh’s 14-member family has also pledged their bodies to medical research.

The donation had inspired 100 more persons in the district to pledge their bodies.

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