Published August 3, 2012
UB anatomy students honored the donors to the university’s Anatomical Gift Program during a heartfelt memorial service held June 14 at Amherst’s Skinnersville Cemetery.
“That these unique individuals willingly donated themselves to complete strangers in hopes of doing good for others is the noblest gift imaginable,” said second-year medical student Mark Bucsek.
“I hope we will never forget the donations that were made for the well-being of humanity, and that we will follow their wishes and use the opportunity each of the donors gave us to not only be better doctors, but better people.”
The director of the Anatomical Gift Program described the gift of one’s body as “priceless.”
“Anyone who has spent any time teaching or learning human anatomy knows that no textbook, no computer program and no model can replace, or come close to replicating, the experience and the knowledge derived from working on the body of an individual who made the ultimate gift of themselves,” said Raymond Dannenhoffer, PhD, associate dean for support services.
“As I tell all of our students, the participants in the Anatomical Gift Program are the greatest teachers they will ever have. The students carry the knowledge they acquire throughout their careers and apply it to every patient they treat.
“More importantly, they learn firsthand from the generosity of spirit the donors demonstrated. They have a responsibility to pay forward the gift they were given in all that they do once they become practicing physicians.”
During the ceremony, students thanked the donors’ families, read poetry and prose and sang.
A group of children released butterflies into the sky, a symbol of new life and rebirth.