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Opening Ceremony Held for NTHU’s Center for Dissection Education and Research

The opening ceremony for National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Taiwan’s Center for Dissection Education and Research, which cost over NT$100 million, was recently held. The ceremony included a memorial service for the cadaver donors. As an expression of gratitude, the first batch of students in the Post-baccalaureate Program in Medicine also offered Chinese bellflowers to the donors.

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Students of the Post-baccalaureate Program in Medicine at NTHU offering Chinese bellflowers to those who have donated their cadavers to the program. (Photo: National Tsing Hua University)

At the ceremony, former NTHU president Hocheng Hong signed the first donation agreement, which indicates that the donor has unconditionally pledged his body for education and research after death, for the purposes of advancing medical science.

Current NTHU president W. John Kao thanked Hocheng for his contributions to medical education at NTHU, including raising NT$2 billion, which has enabled NTHU to set up state-of-the-art anatomy classrooms. In addition, NTHU has also appointed three full-time and two part-time faculty in human anatomy---the foundation of medical education.

On behalf of NTHU, Kao sincerely thanked all those who donated their cadavers, as well as their family members for agreeing with their loved ones’ intentions to benefit medical education. Kao said that cadavers are essential for medical education, and that they help students to acquire the knowledge necessary for treating countless patients in their future medical careers.

Each of the students of the Post-baccalaureate Program in Medicine offered a Chinese bellflower to the donors Zhou Zhen-yu and Liu Gui-zhen, and together sang the song “Grateful Heart” to express their deepest gratitude. In the words of student representative Shen Ho-chien, “The end of your life is the starting point of our medical education. Thus, we begin our studies by thanking you with utmost humility and respect.”

Hocheng said that life is like a boat sailing on water, and there will come a day when the boat returns to shore; at that time, instead of simply abandoning the boat, some generous souls choose to pass it on for others to use. He also noted that he is especially grateful for all the medical professionals who have helped him in so many ways, and happy to have had the opportunity to support medical education.

Hocheng observed that the grueling process of establishing the medical program is finally bearing fruit, now that the first batch of medical students has enrolled and work on the NTHU Hospital is underway in Taoyuan. He also said that he is pleased to sign the donation agreement, and sees it as an expression of his unreserved support for medical education at NTHU.

One of the program’s faculty members is Chen Shih-chieh, who has 28 years of experience teaching gross anatomy. He said that the spacious, state-of-the-art facilities at the newly completed Center for Dissection Education and Research provide an optimal learning environment, free of any formalin odor. The dissection lab and the cadaver room maintain negative pressure throughout the day, and are equipped with air conditioning and a real-time system for monitoring formaldehyde concentrations.

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