Medical Students (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Ximehernandez1409) - Credit: Medical Students (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Ximehernandez1409)
Tuesday, 25 August 2015 - 14:08
More bodies donated to science as religion loses grip on Netherlands
So many people in the Netherlands are registering to donate their bodies to science after death, that six of the eight medical schools are no longer accepting applications. The other two are only accepting donors who live close to the hospital and are still young. This is according to a study done by the Volkskrant. There are currently about 20 thousand body donors registered at the medical schools, an increase of 4 thousand compared to three years ago. The medical schools need about 750 bodies annually for education and research. Many other countries are struggling with a deficit in donor bodies. Cultural anthropologist Sophie Bolt of Radboud University suspects that this can be attributed to the high degree of secularization in the Netherlands. "A remarkable number of Dutch body donors are non religious", she said to the newspaper. Other contributing factors include publications in the press, especially about monuments established for body donors, and social developments such as individualization and aging. "The older people of today are baby boomers, who often make less traditional choices."