The Body Donation Programme allows people to donate their bodies after they pass away for the purposes of medical education and research.
The donated bodies are studied by students of the healthcare professions (including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, Chinese medicine, and dentistry) at The University of Hong Kong. Body donation provides the opportunity for these students to learn anatomy in the best and most realistic way: from real human bodies, and not from models or computer-generated graphics, so that they are well prepared to treat patients in the future. The study of anatomy is the foundation to healthcare, and that's why body donation is so important for educating healthcare professionals.
More importantly, these donated bodies will also develop students' respect and professionalism towards their patients, since the donors represent the first patients they will encounter in their medical training: patients who had been ill and fought their illnesses, and although they finally succumbed, had been so generous as to donate their bodies to healthcare education. Through these donations, students will not only learn about human anatomy but about the greatness and generosity of human beings. This is an important lesson to learn in healthcare training and in life.
The donated bodies are also studied by doctors for medical research, such as the development of new surgical techniques to tackle diseases that existing surgical techniques cannot satisfactorily manage. The donated bodies also allow doctors to train themselves on existing surgical techniques so that they can be done more effectively and safely on patients.
Body donation is very important to education and research in healthcare professions, and eventually to the betterment of human health. The wish to donate one's body is thus a truly altruistic act, demonstrating a selfless concern for the well-being of others. We therefore receive the donated bodies with much gratitude, and the bodies are treated with great respect by all of our staff and students. And we call these donated bodies our Great Body Teachers.