Section 1. Upon the written application of the dean or other officer of any medical school established by law in the commonwealth, the penal institutions commissioner of Boston, the trustees and superintendent of the Tewksbury hospital or other public institution supported in whole or part at the public expense, except the Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts and the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, in this chapter called the authorities, shall permit such dean or other officer to take, within three days after death, the body of any person, required to be buried at the public expense, who died in any institution under the control of such authorities, to be used within the commonwealth for the promotion of anatomical science. In giving such permission regard shall be had to delivering such bodies to any such medical schools in proportion, so far as practicable, to the number of students therein.