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Keywords:

  • gross anatomy education;
  • cadaver usage;
  • body donation;
  • ethics;
  • human tissues;
  • policy issues

Abstract

Recent events have occurred that indicate the need for policies on the ethical care and use of cadavers and their tissues in the United States. At present, there are policies that address the procurement, handling and disposition of cadavers, but there are no national or society sponsored policies that clearly state the ethically appropriate use of cadavers. The ethical issues presented in this manuscript are meant to encourage thought and discussion on this topic. A proposed outcome would be the development of specific ethical guidelines that would be sponsored by national organizations, such as the American Association of Anatomists and/or the American Association of Clinical Anatomists, and would be adopted by institutions that use cadavers or their tissues. Anat Sci Educ. © 2011 American Association of Anatomists.