Knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding whole body donation among medical professionals in a hospital in India

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Abstract

Voluntary body donation has become an important source of cadavers for anatomical study and education. The objective of this study was to assess knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) regarding whole body donation among medical professionals in a medical institute in India. A cross sectional study was conducted at Kasturba Hospital, Manipal, India, among medical doctors. Data was collected from consenting individuals in the age group of 25–65 years by convenience sampling method. A semi-structured, pretested, questionnaire designed to assess KAP regarding whole body donation was provided to the study population (n = 106); 97 individuals returned the completed questionnaire. Results showed that 8% of the medical professionals were unaware of the term body donation and 85% believed that donated bodies were misused. A large proportion of the respondents did not know about the authority that oversaw body donation, or its criteria for accepting donated bodies and diseases for which bodies were screened before acceptance. Only 22% of polled physicians were willing to donate their bodies for medical education, but 68% expected the public to do the same. While only 7% had already registered their own names for body donation, 64% were not aware of any known person having registered and 72% indicated that their decision would not be influenced even if they knew of friends who had registered. These results suggest that educating medical students and professionals regarding the altruistic act of body donation is as important as educating the general public. Anat Sci Educ 4:142–150, 2011. © 2011 American Association of Anatomists.

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