Med students clean up cemetery for body bequeathal program



By Ben Johnson

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On top of school expenses, a group of first-year UK medical students each donated $300 to benefit a project that cleaned up Section 36 of the Lexington Cemetery.

On Sunday, the group cleaned up the site where bodies donated to science via the UK Body Bequeathal Program are buried.

The project was designed to do a general clean up of the area, as well as plant trees and place physical tributes to the bodies, the students said.

Coordinator of the bequeathal program Gary Ginn said this was the first project of its kind in 20 years.

He said the cleanup seeks to show appreciation to the people who donated their body to aid in the advancement of medical science.

“Cadavers are very important to research,” student Ellen Daly said.

Daly said first-year students study the trunk and head, while second-year students inspect the arms and legs.

After the students examine the bodies, they are cremated and the ashes are either sent to the family upon their request or buried by the bequeathal program.

Ginn said most people hear about the option of donating their body to science by word of mouth or in obituaries.

“(The clean up is a) great way to pay tribute to the bodies,” student Ethan Ritter said.

Ginn said he is “very thankful to the students,” and it is important that they are “giving back to the people they learned from.”