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Medical Students Sing Hymns To Cadavers At Memorial Service

May 9, 1989

ROOTSTOWN, Ohio (AP) _ First-year students at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine sang hymns at a memorial service for 30 cadavers donated to the school.

″It brought me back and made me realize that this was someone’s loved one,″ said student Jenniver Uvena, 20, of Boardman.

Monday’s service helped the students accept the idea of death, said Lisa Windish, an assistant in the anatomy department. ″People are so afraid of death,″ she said. ″But it’s not something to be afraid of.″

The day a student enters the dissecting room is the day he or she becomes a physician, anatomy department chairman Dr. Norman Taslitz told the 130 students and relatives of those remembered at the ceremony.

″Working with the body and the brain ... is the first experience of the medical student,″ he said.

The bodies will be cremated and buried at a nearby cemetery, where there is a headstone honoring all of those whose bodies have been donated. The school has held memorial services for 12 years.

″It was a very nice service,″ said Frank Raab of Richfield. He came to remember his mother, who like her husband left her body to the school.

″They felt they could help the young doctors,″ said Raab, whose brother and sister-in-law drove from Pittsburgh for the service.

The Raab brothers said they also planned to donate their bodies. ″I think it’s just a waste″ simply to bury a body, Paul Raab said.

The service serves as a kind of closing ceremony for the students’ year, Taslitz said. ″They can say, ’Yes, this was good and warm and caring,‴ he said. ″It’s the end of a remarkable experience.″

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