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Ethics Missing From Cadaver Class

November 27, 1994

The well-written article "Bodies of Knowledge," (Nov. 15) seeks to interest readers in a "cadaver prosection class" offered at Orange Coast College. (You) list as requirements for enrollment in the class "a certain instinct and drive to learn about the human body." An academic prerequisite is a five-hour anatomy class.

Why is mention not made of the need for sensitive instruction on medical ethics to include the ethics of cadaver study and a respect for the deceased? Sensitivity is necessary to respect the wishes of those whose bodies are donated either by themselves or their families.

A recent article in the school newspaper describes the same class and makes light and flippant mention of the cadaver's nicknames to which (you) refer. In defense of this breach of medical ethics, Prof. Ann Harmer states that the school reporter got the information from student interviews. Therein lies the problem.

The students have not been indoctrinated with the necessary ethics to which they should have been exposed before having the privilege of cadaver research. Further evidence of the carnival atmosphere of the class is the description of a door opened to curiosity viewers. Can't proper ventilation be provided without the curious seeing these bodies being dissected?

ALLEN PORTER

Orange

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