Friday, March 9, 2007

Obituary update

As a dabbler in obituaries, I was intrigued by today's offering in the SF Chronicle about Dr. Lawrence Mathers, an anatomy professor at Stanford.

"As an anatomy teacher, Dr. Mathers would honor the cadavers in the dissection lab with a moment of silence to pay tribute to those who had donated their body to science." And good on him.

I did have a passing thought, wondering if Dr. Mathers donated his body for dissection. I suspect not for the practical reason that too many students would know him. It would be disconcerting to do a dissection on a former professor. But I think it would be disconcerting to do a dissection on almost anybody. One would have questions: who was this person? What did he do? Who are her children?

Also ironically, given Dr. Mathers' profession, "No cause of death has been determined."

Let us pause for a moment of silence for Lawrence Mathers, "a teaching legend at the Stanford University School of Medicine who taught anatomy to nearly 30,000 students over more than three decades."


Another question arises: did that mean 30,000 cadavers as well?

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