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Bollocks to the Hippocratic Oath

Stories From the Slab

This week, Dr. Moore is chopping up a dead granny.

Disclaimer: Some of you might remember this column from a few years back when we still lived at Viceland. When we moved to, though, it disappeared, so now we've dug it up. Enjoy.

Hey, you rapidly decaying protoplasmic sacks of calcium and shit, my name is Dr Mona Moore. Obviously, that is not my real name, but I am a real doctor. Don't feel bad for me, though, because it means I will always have a job, an apartment ten times bigger than yours and the right to tell you what to do simply because I will always know better. Enjoy my column!



I met Madge in my first week of medical school, 9AM on a Friday morning with a bitch of a hangover. She definitely made a better first impression than me. She was remarkably small, grey, with skin the texture of cold, damp leather and a pair of sadly sagging rat tits. She was 80 years old and had been dead for at least three, pumped full of formaldehyde and stored in a freezer until it was her turn to be cut up.

It always upset me that Madge didn’t have any knickers on, and I couldn’t help stare at her mangy three sprouts of grey pubic hair. You had to pity the poor old biddy lying, in flagrante, on the metal tray without even a petticoat for her privates. That is until I came in on my third week to discover someone had chopped off her head, leaving a stump like the end of a cold pork joint. Suddenly knickers didn’t seem as important.

The second year medics shared the body, working on the limbs and head while we worked on the abdomen. So every week we would find poor Madge with some new violence inflicted upon her.

Her skin was like rubbery sliced ham – much harder to cut through than you would expect. Her muscle looked like grey tuna gone hard, her fat the texture and colour of congealed custard they dish out in pre-Jamie Oliver school dinners and she stunk beyond redemption of formaldehyde (which smells closer to physical pain than Glastonbury toilets). Yet somehow it always left me with a nagging hunger.


There’s no blood in a cadaver, but she was full of mysterious wibbly bits that plop satisfactorily out and sometimes splash back into your face – the edge of a cancerous kidney cyst flicked into my hair, or a piece of unidentified gristle once unfortunately flew into a fellow medical student’s yawning mouth.

In the second year you get to play with tools, which the boys relished. Handsaws for the eyeballs and big saws for the head. Two students held the neck steady while I ground through the skull before popping the brain out. It is surprisingly physical work.

Some people vomit, others faint, but every class has the same dares. Who will kiss her for a tenner? Or fifty for putting your finger up her bum and sucking it?

I stayed with Madge for a whole year. I held her hand before dissecting her blackened lungs and I fondled her intestines. I kept every last dribble of dried shit with her so one day her massacred remains could all be buried together and she was finally laid to rest in a funeral that I would attend along with her family and friends.

People were once less than caring towards their cadavers. While at St. Andrews University, a female medic friend was interrogated by the police after a postman discovered a severed hand inside a red post box. After that, the halcyon days of walking around with a spare leg slung over your shoulder or having anatomy fights hurling pieces of cold meat at each other were over.

It is no wonder then, that there is a shortage of bodies. But if by some miracle of sadomasochism you still want to donate for the sake of medical science contact the Human Tissue Authority on 0207 211 3400 or visit You’re a better person than me.

Previously: Please Don't Stuff Your Cock