Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The tell-tale thigh


A body of a 91-year-old donor underwent whole-body CT scanning before being transferred for use in an anatomical dissection course. Metallic objects were detected in the thigh muscles, extensive bone abnormalities were found in the left femur and the diaphysis of the left femur was 50% wider than that of the right diaphysis. History revealed that the body donor had been seriously wounded at the end of World War II by a rocket explosion. His multiple fractures and lesions had not been surgically treated either in an Austrian military hospital or in a French prisoner of war camp. The patient suffered for almost 70 years from this violation of the Geneva Conventions. In the light of current armed conflicts, the present case is an example of how one injustice can result in severe, lifelong medical consequences. It also shows that the history behind a wounded thigh can have an enormous impact on teaching ethics to today's medical students.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.