To the Editor:
Since the loss of my husband in November, I have had several people approach me with questions concerning whole body donation for research and/or education. It seems there is a myth being perpetrated that universities and other institutions have an abundance of cadavers so they are no longer accepting them. This is absolute false.
My husband donated his body to the University of Iowa. The University of Des Moines also accepts. Cremation is done at no expense to the family and the cremains are returned to the family at their request, also at no expense. The only expense to the family is for transportation of the body to the chosen facility. The funeral director who served us handled the notification and transportation of my husband's body promptly and sensitively. The cost was $240. I find it unconscionable that anyone would discourage such a selfless and worthy gift. Let me quote from the pack of information I received from the University of Des Moines:
"The ability of the University to provide highly trained physicians and other health care professions depends upon continued support of the Body Donor Program. In order to educate present and future students, the University must obtain donated bodies to fulfill the needs of the medical education."
Following are two contacts in Iowa:
n Department of Anatomy, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52240; phone 319-335-7762
n Body Donor Program, Des Moines University, 3200 Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa, 50312; Phone 515-271-1481