Ashes of people who donated their bodies to science to be given special burial in Latvia

On Wednesday, 28 September, Riga Stradins University will organise a special burial ceremony for people who donated their bodies to science and medicine. The burial event will continue the whole day. Service will be held at Martin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, followed by a burial at the nearby Martin Cemetery and opening of a monument at RSU Anatomy and Anthropology Institute.
A total of 14 urns containing ashes will be buried.
«The anatomy institute currently has 28 remains. They are used for educational and scientific purposes. However, 2 154 people’s remains have been dissected in 100 years of the institute’s history,» says the author of this event and director of RSU Anatomy and Anthropology Institute, Prof. Māra Pilmane.
She stresses that dissecting is an important part of medical training: «Every person is unique and individual. Although plastic or digital 3D models are already part of medical education, they cannot convey a full picture of each person’s uniqueness! The word’s leading universities openly admitted at the Congress of International Federation of Associations of Anatomists in 2004 that it is necessary to return to dissecting real bodies during medical students’ training. The number of people who donate their bodies to medicine and science after death is unknown – this information is protected by the law. Nevertheless, our estimates suggest the number is not small,» says Prof. Pilmane.
Memorial event will start off at 10:00 a.m. with a service at Martin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Riga, Slokas Street 34. The service will be attended by priests representing Catholic, Lutheran, Orthodox and Baptist confessions. At 11:00 a.m. a burial procession to the nearby Martin Cemetery will commence. There urns with ashes will be buried in the location RSU acquired for this specific purpose.

At 14:00 p.m. all those interested are invited to attend the opening of a monument in the backyard of RSU Anatomy and Anthropology Institute, Kronvalda Boulevard 9. This will conclude the public part of the event.