My opinion: This helps reveal the ins-and-outs of medical research, and illustrates points that I never would have thought about. When someone dies, I don't know how the dead are prepared to be buried - this information is lost to me as the process is handled by someone else. Similarly, there may be many disgusting or mundane aspects of life that we ignore, as well. But at many times, someone has to pick up the pieces and do the work. In the medical field, I'm sure that students and practitioners must pay great attention to every detail. In this case, not only must they administer the dissection very carefully, but also, Mr. Casso must handle the dead in a particular manner. The article doesn't reveal all of this process, but I imagine there must be special containers and chemicals that are used to preserve the bodies and prepare them for dissection. Lastly, I'm glad that the families and the dead are respected at a ceremony - beyond all of the scientific research and educational efforts, medicine has its place in the humanities, too!
MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) — At any time of the day or night, James Casso can get a call asking him to pick up a body.
Casso was hired to collect and prepare bodies for Quinnipiac University’s Frank H. Netter School of Medicine. Donated cadavers are used by first-year medical students for dissection, helping them better understand the human body. The program begins for medical students in September, but bodies have to be collected and stored now for those classes.
From 1992 until two months ago, Casso held a similar job with the University of Connecticut. He’s put thousands of miles on his van, traveling primarily to homes to pick up the recently deceased cadavers of those who have donated their bodies to scientific study.
‘‘A lot of people realize the benefits of donating a body,’’ Casso said. ‘‘There are benefits besides financial. I think they feel good, knowing they’re helping a future doctor.’
Although there’s money to be saved by donating, bodies taken by the university won’t be available for viewing hours or a regular funeral.
‘‘We know it’s a sacrifice for a family,’’ Casso said.
At the end of the school year, a funeral is held for the cadavers used in classes and the ashes are given to the families. The service provides a sense of closure for those families and shows respect and appreciation for those who have donated their bodies.
‘‘People realize how much we appreciate these gifts,’’ Casso said.