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April 16, 1982

Her Relative Was the Cadaver

JAMA. 1982;247(15):2096. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320400016012

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To the Editor.—  What is the percentage of a student's encountering a relative in the form of a cadaver in a gross anatomy laboratory? Such an event may occur in a science fiction novel or it may be the theme of a television production, but seldom does one have personal experience in such a coincidence. This unusual situation occurred earlier this year in the gross anatomy laboratory of a large, southern university.On the initial day of class the students were exposed to all nine of the cadavers. After the first day's dissection and before the beginning of the second laboratory session, the director of the course was informed of a potentially bizarre occurrence. A student informed the director that the distinct possibility existed that one of the cadavers (not the one she was dissecting) was a great aunt. At a meeting of the student and instructor before the second