Update to World Map of Body Acquisition

This is an updated version (8/2022) of the world map of body sources published in Habicht et al., Academic Medicine: 93 (9): 1293–1300 (open access). All countries, for which new or previously unconsidered information was used for this update, are listed below. This additional information is either from the literature or was given to Prof. Andreas Winkelmann by way of personal communication. Those who are quoted by name in the list below have all consented in writing to be quoted here in this way. All other classifications of countries in the map are based on information published in the Acad Med paper. For any comments, please write to andreas.winkelmann@mhb-fontane.de.

Information on import of bodies from other countries is not included in this version. Note that those using donated bodies exclusively may nevertheless have a severe shortage of such bodies.

New Information compared to Habicht et al. 2018
An (*)asterisk means that this information either changes or newly introduces the classification compared to the published world map. All sources without asterisk confirm the classification published in the paper.

  • Argentina: Biasutto et al. 2018
  • Brazil: da Rocha 2017; da Rocha 2018
  • Chile: Cárdenas in Biasutto et al. 2018
  • China: Chen et al. 2018
  • Colombia: Ballesteros Acuña in Biasutto et al. 2018
  • Czech Republic: Kachlik in Biasutto et al. 2014 (part 2)
  • *Finland: Dr Viranta-Kovanen, Helsinki; Finnish law: https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/ajantasa/2001/20010101
  • *Egypt: Abdalla 2015
  • *Estonia: Prof. Kersti Kokk, Tartu
  • *Guatemala: Prof. Ariadna Cifuentes, Guatemala City
  • India: Lalwani 2020 [unclaimed bodies prevail, but donation is on the rise]
  • *Israeli law: https://fs.knesset.gov.il/9/law/9_lsr_207929.PDF
  • *Italy: Ciliberti 2021 [new law promotes donation and prohibits resourcing of unclaimed bodies, although it does not prohibit their import from abroad]
  • *Latvia: Prof. Mara Pilmane, Riga [law since 2013]
  • *Lithuania: law of 2007: https://e-seimas.lrs.lt/portal/legalAct/lt/TAD/TAIS.312055/asr
  • Malaysia: Saw 2018
  • Mexico: Quiroga-Garza et al. 2017; Dr. Quiroga-Garza, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
  • *Myanmar: Prof. Thit Sar Aye Mg Thann, Magway
  • Nicaragua: Prof. Jamnyce Altamirano,  Managua; Altamirano in Biasutto et al. 2018
  • *North Macedonia: Prof. Julija Zhivadinovik, Skopje
  • Paraguay: Medina Ruiz in Biasutto et al. 2018
  • *Russia: Khayrulin in Biasutto et al. 2014 (part 2)
  • *Peru: Paredes Orué in Biasutto et al. 2018
  • *Singapore: Saw 2018
  • *Slovenia: Prof Dean Ravnik, Ljubljana
  • South Africa: Kramer et al. 2018
  • Uruguay: Olivera in Biasutto et al. 2018; Prof. Olivera, Montevideo
  • USA: Caplan & DeCamp 2019, Peeler 2020
  • Venezuela: Romero Reverón in Biasutto et al. 2018


  • Abdalla, M., 2015. Friendly Skulls, Mechanical Bodies: Encounters with Cadavers in a Medical School in Egypt. Med. Anthropol. 34, 407-424.
  • Biasutto SN, Cárdenas-Valenzuela J, Prat GD, Romero-Reverón R, Medina Ruiz BA, Tamayo S, Raredes Orué R, Toledo Neto JL, Altamirano J, Ballesteros Acuña LE, Martino de Vargas EdC, Olivera E, Grgicevic GF, Amer MAR, David OP, Garategui L. 2018. Situación de las universidades argentinas y latinoamericanas en relación al  material cadavérico para la enseñanza de la anatomía. Revista Argentina de Anatomia Clinica 10:52-76.
  • Biasutto SN, Sharma NA, McBride J, Krishnan S, Vatsalaswamy P, Garud RS, Kharat VS, du Toit DF, Redwood C, Fisk W, Townsend G, Piplani ML, Romero-Reverón R, Rae G, Kachlik D, Barut C, Khayrullin RM. 2014. Part II - Human bodies to teach anatomy: importance and procurement - experience with cadaver donation. Revista Argentina de Anatomía Clínica 6:162-175.
  • Caplan I, DeCamp M. 2019. Of Discomfort and Disagreement: Unclaimed Bodies in Anatomy Laboratories at United States Medical Schools. Anat Sci Educ. 12(4):360-369,
  • Chen D, Zhang Q, Deng J, Cai Y, Huang J, Li F, Xiong K. 2018. A shortage of cadavers: The predicament of regional anatomy education in mainland China. Anat Sci Educ 11:397-402.
  • Ciliberti, R., Bonsignore, A., Bonzano, C., Ventura, F., Licata, M., 2021. Taking care of life: the new Italian law on post-mortem donation for study purposes, training and scientific research. Ann. Anat. 236, 151712
  • Da Rocha AO, De Campos D, Farina MA, Pacini GS, Girotto MC, Hilbig A. 2017. Using body donor demographics to assist the implementation of donation programs in Brazil. Anat Sci Educ 10(5):475-486.
  • da Rocha AO, Farina Júnior MA, Girotto MC, de Moraes MPO, Thomaz GDGR, de Campos D, Pacini GS. 2018. The Brazilian Ceremony in Honor of Body Donors: An opportunity to express gratitude and reflect on medical education. International Jorunal for Innovation Education and Research 6:264-273.
  • Kramer B, Hutchinson EF, Brits DM, Billings BK. 2018. Making the Ethical Transition in South Africa: Acquiring Human Bodies for Training in Anatomy. Anat Sci Educ. DOI:10.1002/ase.1814 
  • Lalwani, R., Kotgirwar, S., Athavale, S.A., 2020. Changing medical education scenario: a wakeup call for reforms in Anatomy Act. BMC Med. Ethics 21, 63.
  • Peeler M, 2020: An Unexpected Education — Unclaimed Bodies in the Anatomy Lab. N Engl J Med 383:2002-2004. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp2015975
  • Quiroga-Garza A, Reyes-Hernandez CG, Zarate-Garza PP, Esparza-Hernandez CN, Gutierrez-de la OJ, de la Fuente-Villarreal D, Elizondo-Omana RE, Guzman-Lopez S. 2017. Willingness toward organ and body donation among anatomy professors and students in Mexico. Anat Sci Educ 10:589-597.
  • Saw A. 2018. A New Approach to Body Donation for Medical Education: The Silent Mentor Programme. Malaysian Orthopaedic Journal 12:68-72.

29 August 2022


International Federation of Associations of Anatomists

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