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Anatomist on the dissecting table? Dutch anatomical professionals' views on body donation

Authors

  • Sophie Bolt,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Thanatology, Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    • Radboud University Nijmegen, Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, P.O. Box 9103, 6500 HD Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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  • Eric Venbrux,

    1. Center for Thanatology, Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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  • Rob Eisinga,

    1. Department of Social Science Research Methods, Faculty of Social Sciences,Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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  • Peter O. Gerrits

    1. Department of Neuroscience, Section Anatomy, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
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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.

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