Anatomy Prof Preserves Bodies of Mother, Sister in College Lab

Published: 25th January 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th January 2015 06:00 AM   |  A+A-

MYSURU:An anatomy professor has chosen a unique way of educating people about the need to donate bodies as well as ways to preserve them.

Dr N M Shama Sundar of JSS Medical College has preserved his mother’s body in the anatomy lab ever since she passed away five years ago. Now, he has preserved his sister’s body too. His sister, N M Nagamani (74), a

retired KSRTC employee, died some months ago, and her body now lies in an adjacent room. Sundar has used a method called plastination to preserve the bodies longer. Plastination is a technique of tissue preservation developed by Dr Gunther von Hagens in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1977.

Sundar, who is also secretary of the JSS Body Donation Association, said Nagamani and other members of his family had donated their bodies to research.

He said preserving the bodies also allowed his relatives settled abroad who could not come to India at the time of his mother’s death to later “see her”. One of Sundar’s brothers, who lives in Australia, flew down two months after the death and saw his mother’s body.

Murali Mohan, another of Sundar’s brothers and a retired deputy chief engineer at Kolar gold mines, said he visits the lab whenever he feels like seeing his mother and sister.

Six of Sundar’s nephews and nieces who live abroad could not make it when his mother died. They came after many months, he said.

The Brahmin family did not perform any death rites for the two bodies. “My mother was against religious rituals,” Sundar told Express.

He said the proximity of two bodies of close relatives does not affect his work in the lab. He said his gesture had inspired several others to pledge their bodies.


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