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Donating Bodies to Medical Schools: The Future Possibility for the Balearic Islands

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Donating Bodies to Medical Schools: The Future Possibility for the Balearic Islands

The possibility of body donation to the Faculty of Medicine of the Balearic Islands is becoming a reality, as efforts are being made to establish a system for receiving such donations. Currently, students and doctors in training at the university rely on donor parts from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Dean Toni Bennàssar is in favor of the University of the Balearic Islands being able to receive body donations in the future, but acknowledges that logistical and infrastructure preparations are needed for this to happen.

Since the Faculty of Medicine of the Balearic Islands opened in the 2016-2017 academic year, the university has received three shipments of donor bodies from the UAM. Both body donations and the transfer of donor parts are free by law in Spain, with the costs of transportation being covered by the university. However, the recent delivery of four coffins cost around 10,000 euros.

One of the few residents of the Balearic Islands who has donated his body to science, FJ Viera, did so twenty years ago to the Faculty of Medicine in Valencia. The culture of body donations in Spain has evolved over the years, posing new challenges for medical schools in terms of handling donations and ensuring proper preservation of bodies.

Dean Bennàssar emphasizes the need for logistical and infrastructure readiness before launching body donation programs at the Faculty of Medicine of the Balearic Islands. He also highlights the responsibilities of universities towards donors and the importance of cautious handling of body donations, especially in light of recent controversies in other faculties regarding the preservation of bodies.

In the absence of body donors from the Balearic Islands, the faculty relies on shipments of donor parts for anatomical training. The use of real bodies in anatomy laboratories provides students with a more realistic learning experience compared to anatomical models. Professor Alfonso Rodríguez Baeza emphasizes the irreplaceable value of working with real bodies in medical education.

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The recent shipment of four coffins from Barcelona to Palma includes pieces preserved through the plastination technique, offering new opportunities for anatomy practices at the Faculty of Medicine of the Balearic Islands. The faculty plans to continue expanding its facilities to support anatomy practices and ensure proper preservation of donor bodies.

Overall, efforts are being made to establish a body donation system at the Faculty of Medicine of the Balearic Islands, with a focus on proper preparation and responsible handling of donations to uphold the integrity of medical education and research.

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