Piece Corpse

I’m always late to the party.

Just got to the New York Times Magazine dated January 1, 2012. The cover story: Do you have to be superhuman to lose weight?

I’m less interested in the overall content of the article (though I am interested in the potential for medical solutions to what Tara Parker-Pope – the author – describes as largely chemical problems) than in a specific passage about the author’s mother:

I wasn’t overweight as a child, but I can’t remember a time when my mother, whose weight probably fluctuated between 150 and 250 pounds, wasn’t either on a diet or, in her words, cheating on her diet… My mother died of esophageal cancer six years ago. It was her great regret that in the days before she died, the closest medical school turned down her offer to donate her body because she was obese.

Now – and I know at least one medical student will read this – I’m writing this post mostly to satisfy my own curiosity: Given that – by the article’s admission – “a third of the U.S. adult population [is] classified as obese,” what about an obese cadaver renders it uneducational? Seems to me like someone serious about learning American anatomy would do well to familiarize himself with one.

Fill me in (but please, not in too much detail – there’s a reason I didn’t go to medical school).


And no, the title of this post is not actually supposed to make any sense.

[Update: That didn’t take long: Fat gets in the way of dissections, which I suspected, but the point of the dissections is just to see the organs – not to gain any practical experience cutting people up. I suppose this makes sense, since even surgeons don’t cut their patients like they would a cadaver. Also, my informant tells me, “they’re talking about adding an element to the curriculum to deal with increased obesity.” Sounds like a plan.]


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