IFAA Statement on COVID-19 and body Donors


Human dissection has long been the ‘gold standard’ for teaching and research in the anatomical sciences. Anatomists rely on the altruism of individuals to donate their bodies so that health sciences professionals in training can continue to be privileged by experiencing the structural details of the human body. We thus continue to be extremely grateful to those individuals who donate their bodies.  For the process of body donation to be accepted by the donors and the public, it is imperative that high ethical standards prevail.  Under these conditions, numerous body donor programmes have been achieved around the world.  The best practice guidelines of the IFAA (www.ifaa.net) present recommendations for the ethical sourcing and use of human bodies.

During outbreaks of infectious diseases, the sourcing of bodies and continuance of donor programmes comes under stress. Numerous guidelines have been produced by organisations and governments during the present novel coronavirus pandemic, which will be of great use to anatomists who facilitate donor programmes. The IFAA has summarised current information on important aspects of the handling of bodies during the coronavirus pandemic in order to provide information to its constituent members. It stresses the importance of scientific evidence, which should be the guiding principle wherever available.

The following refers to the handling of the dead body in the context of anatomy.' (...)

Please find the IFAA best practice guidelines for body donation programmes during the novel Coronavirus pandemic document here 

Contributors to the Guidelines: Beverley Kramer, Brendon Billings, Bernard Moxham and Andreas Winkelmann


International Federation of Associations of Anatomists

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