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Keywords:

  • anatomy;
  • whole body donation;
  • motivation for donation;
  • dissecting room

Abstract

Anatomical professionals know better than anyone else that donated bodies are a valuable asset to anatomical science and medical education. They highly value voluntary donations, since a dearth of bodies negatively affects their profession. With this in mind, we conducted a survey (n = 54) at the 171st scientific meeting of the Dutch Anatomical Society in 2009 to see to what extent anatomical professionals are willing to donate their own body. The results reveal that none of the survey participants are registered as a whole body donor and that only a quarter of them would consider the possibility of body donation. We argue that the two main constraints preventing Dutch anatomical professionals from donating their own body are their professional and their social environments. In contrast to the absence of registered body donors, half of the anatomical professionals are registered as an organ donor. This figure far exceeds the proportion of registered organ donors among the general Dutch population. Clin. Anat. 25:168–175, 2012. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.