International Federation of Associations of Anatomists

Federation Internationale des Associations d'Anatomistes

As members of an international anatomical ethics committee (FICEM of IFAA), we strongly condemn the recent public dissection of a body donor in the United States (reference). This disrespectful and unethical use of this deceased individual for the entertainment of the paying public is reprehensible. There does not appear to be any educational component to this public display and it only appears to be a method to satisfy the morbid curiosity of the public and as a means to generate revenue for the organizers, venue and the for-profit body broker companies.

We strongly encourage local, state and federal governments to do all in their power to stop public displays of this type in the future. We hope this instance of human exploitation serves as encouragement for international communities to reflect upon the level of respect and dignity that is due persons who have died, including those that have donated their bodies for educational purposes.

We encourage anatomists and all others involved to follow the international ‘Recommendations for Good Practice of Body Donation’.

  • Prof. Andreas Winkelmann (Chair), Medical School Brandenburg, Germany
  • Prof. Thomas H. Champney, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, USA
  • Dr. Jon Cornwall, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Prof. Sabine Hildebrandt, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
  • Prof. Amadi O. Ihunwo, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Prof. Gareth Jones, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Prof. Diogo Pais, Nova University, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Prof. Andrea Oxley da Rocha, Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Brandi Schmitt, MS, University of California, Oakland, USA
  • Prof. Sergio Tamayo, National University of Salta, Argentina
  • Prof. Guo-Fang Tseng, Tzu Chi University, Taiwan

and Prof. Beverley Kramer (President of IFAA), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

FICEM is the Federative International Committee for Ethics and Medical Humanities of the

International Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA)