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University pays tribute to supporters of medical teaching.

16 Apr 2008

Members of staff are invited to a Service of Thanksgiving on Wednesday 30 April.

The selfless and public-spirited actions of those who have left their bodies to aid the teaching of future doctors in training will be celebrated at a Service of Thanksgiving in Manchester on Wednesday 30 April.

Each year, The University of Manchester accepts about 40 human bodies for medical and scientific teaching and research in anatomy.

"The bodies we receive are mostly those of people from Manchester and surrounding areas who have indicated, in writing, prior to their death, that they wish to donate their bodies for this purpose," said Alan Crossman, Professor of Anatomy at the University.

"The bequeathals benefit the education of about 2,000 students each year, so the University intends to introduce an annual Service of Thanksgiving in remembrance of the individuals who, in the previous academic year, have donated their bodies."

Similar commemoration events are held by other major medical schools. For example, those who have donated their bodies to the medical schools of London in the previous year are remembered in an annual service held in Southwark Cathedral.

This service is well-attended by relatives and friends of the deceased and, importantly, by academic staff and students who have benefitted from the bequeathals.

The first such annual Service of Thanksgiving in Manchester will be held at 10.30am for 10.45am on Wednesday 30 April in the Holy Name Church, next to the University's Medical School on Oxford Road.

It will be a non-denominational service but the clergy attending will represent the spectrum of religious affiliations of the deceased with senior representatives of the Church of England, Roman Catholic, Methodist and Greek Orthodox Churches present. Senior representatives from the University and senior civic officials will also be attending.

"We anticipate attendance at the service by relatives and friends of the deceased as well as academic staff and students," said Professor Crossman. "However, any member of the public is also most welcome to attend."