Issue
Article Subject
Medicine
Abstract

Dissection of a dead body is a time honoured element of medical education as a component of learning
human anatomy since the time of Vesalius. However, lately dissection of cadavers for teaching and training
purposes is surrounded by many ethical and other uncertainities. Hence many universities have shifted
towards alternative modalities of teaching involving cadaveric plastination, non-cadaveric models and
computer-based imaging. Plastination is the process whereby the water and fat of the tissues are replaced
by certain plastics, yielding specimens that not only retain most properties of the original sample but also
do not smell or decay. Specimens appear artistic, and do not undergo significant deterioration over many
years of continuous use. Plastination no doubt, is a boon for Anatomy as well as for medical practitioners
but is it feasible for undergraduate students studying Anatomy. This paper discusses the advantages of
plastination as well as dissection and concludes why cadaver dissection should remain as an essential part
and indispensible of undergraduate medical education. Conclusion: Plastination is a boon for medical
practitioners as specimens appear artistic, and do not undergo significant deterioration over many years of
continuous use and are thus easy to construe. But it should be reserved for those students who have
completed the dissection of the body at least once and are aware of the 3-dimensional anatomy.
 

Keywords
dissection
Dead Body
Medical Education
anatomy
Cadaveric Plastination
Non-Cadaveric Models
Computer-Based Imaging
Dissection.
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