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21 Rutgers J. L. & Religion 426 (2021)
Cadaver Donations in the Jewish Legal System

handle is hein.journals/rjlr21 and id is 426 raw text is: 

                   Gabriel  N. Slamovits,  Esq. *

       The   use  of human cadavers for teaching and training
purposes  is a relatively new  phenomenon in medical education.
From  antiquity through the Middle  Ages and  beyond, the dissection
of the human  body  was  largely considered immoral   and was  often
illegal. That said, select physicians and artists, such as Bandinelli
and da Vinci, performed  anatomical  dissections.
       It was   not until the  twentieth  century  that the  use  of
cadavers  in medical  schools became   standard practice. Indeed, in
1888,  in the United States House  of Representatives,  New  Jersey
Congressman   William  McAdoo referred   to anatomy  as the savage,
soulless science of the medical schools.1 Yet, over time, dissecting
the human   body  became   a required rite of passage for nearly all
medical  students. Entry into the gross  anatomy  lab is one  of the
hallmarks  of medical education.
       The  Jewish legal system faces a complex  balancing test with
regard to anatomical  dissection. On  the one hand,  the belief that

* Gabriel N. Slamovits, Esq., is a 2019 graduate of New York University School of
Law and attended medical school at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
An earlier version of this Article won an Honorable Mention in the 2019 Mary
Moers Wenig Student Writing Competition administered by the American College
of Trust and Estate Counsel Foundation.
I am profoundly grateful to my adviser and teacher, Professor Bridget J. Crawford,
for her support of my work and her mentorship. Every stage of the process, from
research through publication, has been enhanced and enriched by her dedicated
guidance. I also thank Professor Moshe Halbertal and Rabbi Joseph J. Wolfson,
both of New York University, and Barbara Niss, Director of the Archives at the
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. My gratitude to Koren Publishers for
providing me with a searchable edition of Farber and Greenberg's HALAKHIC
Rabbinic Fellowship for the right to utilize images from the book. I thank my
parents, Dr. Thomas Slamovits and Lynn Neumann Slamovits, for their love and
unwavering support. Special thanks to Dr. Jeffrey T. Laitman, Distinguished
Professor of Medical Education at Mount Sinai, whose Gross Anatomy course, and
particularly our special class session on end-of-life transitions and whole-body
donation, spurred me to think about many of these issues. My experience with my
cadaver, whom I was trained to think of as my first patient, is the genesis of this
paper. I am eternally grateful to that patient for the sacred gift he bestowed upon
me and my fellow students in the anatomy lab.
1 McAdoo, William. (NJ) Objection to House Bill No. 5040, for the promotion of
anatomical science and to protect the desecration of graves in the District of
Columbia. Congressional Record 19:2418 (Mar. 26, 1888).

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