Dr Rameshwar Sharma, principal of the Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Medical College in Jaipur, India, left his body to students at the college who were facing a critical shortage of cadavers for teaching purposes.
Indians are reluctant to donate bodies of loved ones to medical science and Dr Sharma was determined to lead by example.
However, his corpse was left un-used and was eventually attacked by rats.
Over a glittering career Dr Sharma had been a former vice-chancellor of Rajasthan University, and at the time of his death, he was executive director of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Jaipur, and a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Health Management Research, which he had founded as its first director.
He had conceptualised the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare. He was a winner of the B. C. Roy National Award for his contribution to medical education. During his career, he also held the posts of president of the National Institute of Ecology, the Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine and the Indian Society of Medical Statistics.
His outraged son Dr Pradeep Sharma said: “It's an insult to the late doctor.
“He often used to say that whatever he was, it was because of the SMS Medical College and, therefore, wanted to do something for it.
“When he was the principal, he had expressed the desire to donate his body to the college to tackle the shortage of corpses.”
A former SMS Medical College alumnus, Dr Vijay Rao, added: “More shocking is the fact that the body was not kept properly and left to the mercy of the rats.”