The gravestone has the names of the universities that presumably got the cadavers for their research.
A grave site in Atlanta honors people who have donated their bodies to science, acknowledging their contribution. Reddit user u/jakfrist came across the gravestone and shared a picture in a post. "I just stumbled across this headstone tucked away in a historic cemetery in Atlanta, GA surrounded by graves from the 1800s. The universities at the top are the preeminent medical schools in the region, who I’m assuming paid for the monument."
The gravestone lists the universities that presumably got the cadavers for their research: Emory University, Medical College of Georgia, Morehouse School of Medicine and Mercer University School of Medicine. The inscription on the gravestone acknowledges them, honoring their contribution to science, saying, "In memory of those who generously gave their bodies to help future generations through medical research and education."
Reddit users appreciated the gravestone, with many commenting that they have a similar plan to donate their bodies. u/Eborys commented, saying, "That’ll be me and many members of my family. Can think of at least 8 of us that want to donate our bodies to science when we die. It just makes sense." u/Wienerwrld shared their own experience, describing a similar headstone their father has. "My father donated his body to Harvard medical school (he always wanted to go to Harvard med school), and there is a similar plaque at the cemetery nearby where his ashes were buried," they wrote.
Another user shared their experience of working with the intubation of cadavers, appreciating the physician in charge, "I intubated cadavers in paramedic school. The physician in charge of the cadavers spoke so beautifully and respectfully of the people we worked with, he insisted on quiet reverence, and made us give thanks before and after working with them, it was beautiful. I hope to make arrangements to donate myself to science as well."
Did you know that approximately 20,000 Americans choose to donate their bodies to science each year?— Reference Medicine (@ReferenceMed) September 21, 2022
These donations help researchers better diagnose and treat diseases, pioneer new techniques and devices, and improve the life and health of everyone who comes next. pic.twitter.com/cErNHssEEz
u/madjpadj commented, appealing to others to consider donating, "I’ve never understood why more people don’t donate. it’s not like you’re going to need your body when you die, why not try to help someone who is alive as much as you can? what if your body helps to find a cure for aids or cancer ?"
An estimated 20,000 Americans donate their bodies to science each year, per Mental Floss. Many people make this decision because they want to help the greater good while they pass on, doing something to give back. These deceased donors contribute to the saving of lives. Dissecting cadavers helps medical students learn about anatomy. They are used by researchers to investigate conditions including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. To perfect novel treatments like face transplants, surgeons use corpses. Even the development of surgical robots has benefited from the use of cadavers.
Penn State's College of Medicine thanked families who donated the most personal, but vital, resources. https://t.co/dTyEqnEx4L— abc27 News (@abc27News) September 20, 2022
Doris Poulakos passed from Alzheimer's and became a full-body donor. Her daughter, Pam Poulakos, shared with Healthline that she wanted to contribute her body. “My mom and her sister had both survived breast cancer twice, and we felt an urge to help,” she explains. “It’s an excellent alternative to burial and just wasting bodies and organs that could be used to advance medical research.”
“I'd much rather be used for medical research than being buried,” Poulakos, 64, told Mental Floss. “We're not going to be using our bodies anymore anyway, so they might as well use it for whatever they need.”