'Silent mentors': Donation, education and bodies in Taiwan

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Unlike cadaver donation in the West, which has to a large degree maintained the anonymity of the body used to teach medical students, the Taiwanese Tzu Chi Buddhist Silent Mentor programme at the centre of this article foregrounds the identity of the training cadaver as an essential element in medical pedagogy, deliberately engaging the student with the family of the deceased and aiming to build career-long relationships between students and their ‘Silent Mentors’. Building on ethnographic research, interviews, and literature from the medical humanities, this article lays out the questions for medical pedagogy, body donation, and Buddhist practices prompted by this programme, putting the ‘Silent Mentors’ into conversation with the ‘new immortalities’ of this special issue.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMedicine Anthropology Theory
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)69-98
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2017


  • anonymity
  • Buddhism
  • cadaver donation
  • detachment
  • medical pedagogy
  • Taiwan
  • anthropology


Dive into the research topics of ''Silent mentors': Donation, education and bodies in Taiwan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this