Doctors at PGIMER make a case for body donation, calling it as noble a cause as organ donation.
“The technology in medicine is changing everyday and doctors need to practice new techniques and new instruments. They can practice on these bodies. These bodies are also used for research and teaching purposes,” said Dr Daisy, Head of Anatomy department at PGIMER, explaining the need for body donation. “Environmentally speaking, four-five quintal wood is needed to burn a body. This generates pollution and heat. If we choose to donate instead of burning, we help society as well as the environment. If people do not want to donate, they should consider electric cremation rather than burning,” she added.
Elaborating further on the process, she said, “We have a will form. No legality is involved with the form. It is to be signed by the person as well as their two close relatives. Sometimes there are cases in which will forms have not been signed but families still donate the bodies to us. This method is also fine. Otherwise in some cases the person wants their body to be donated in the event of their death. For this, they sign the will form and this way family members also get to know about it and become agreeing parties to the same. In the event of their death, we receive the body as per their will.”
On being asked about how frequently people went to the department to pledge, she said, “Around four people are there everyday. It was not like this before but people are becoming more aware of the need for body donation and this is good.”
As per official records, in the year 2015-16, 395 people pledged to donate their bodies at PGIMER in the event of their death. This number increased to 404 in the year 2016-17. 396 people pledged body donation at PGI in 2017-18 and 229 pledged for the same in 2019 until now.