Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A quick anatomical anecdote

I never hesitated with the cadaver. I saw it as an object from the start, and this is clear in the manner in which I dissect. While everyone else pokes timidly, I follow my Grant’s dissector verbatim in that “in the context of this dissection manual, the meaning of dissect is to tear apart.” I dive in as I would do when taking apart a car, computer, or vacuum cleaner. Today, however, I stopped for the first time. In order to relax the pectoralis major, the arm needs to be adducted and flexed. One of my partners was struggling to get his hands under the muscle, so I grabbed the cadaver’s hand to pull it toward the median. That’s when, for a split second, I paused; in lifting the arm, the fingers tightened a little. It is horrendously cliché, but it really reminded me that this human body was once a human being.

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