The approved use of animal bodies for medical training purposes began in Europe in the Late Middle Ages and advance during the 18th and 19th centuries.1 Historically, anatomists accept depended on the gallows, jails, or poorhouses as sources of bodies, but the 1960s and 1970s saw the acceleration of a applicable alternative: assay donation, or a accord of the asleep during his or her lifetime.2 Today, anatomical anatomization for teaching purposes is accustomed at medical schools all over the world. Alike as 3D prints, basic simulations, and added avant-garde representations of the animal assay are added acclimated in assay education, and admitting an advancing debate, fueled by this development, on the bulk of anatomization for teaching purposes,3,4 it seems that anatomists who use preserved animal bodies for teaching medical accepting outnumber those who do not and will do so for the accountable future.5 In addition, there is accretion use of cadavers in postgraduate medical education. There is, therefore, a connected all-around charge for cadavers at anatomical sciences departments.
The sources of animal tissue acclimated for medical apprenticeship and assay depend on bounded legislation, the acquaintance and alertness of the citizenry to accord to assay education, cultural and religious customs, and socioeconomic factors. Today, the best accustomed sources are assay donation programs and “unclaimed” bodies—that is, bodies of individuals who die afterwards ancestors or accompany to affirmation them for burying or afterwards the agency to allow burial. In some countries with a curtailment of accessible bodies, anatomists acceptation cadavers from added countries.6
In 2012, the All-embracing Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA) appear recommendations apropos the donation and abstraction of animal bodies that acutely alarm for absolute assay donation and for an end to other, ethically arguable practices7,8 such as the use of the bodies of accomplished persons9 and bearding bodies. The closing convenance has been criticized for application bodies afterwards accord of the asleep and for acute adjoin assertive boyhood groups, including individuals with brainy affliction or who are poor, whose cadavers accept frequently been acclimated for anatomical purposes.10
The IFAA issued its recommendations7 with the achievement that they will be implemented worldwide. However, there is currently bereft advice about all-around assay sourcing practices to clue approaching changes. Although some bounded overviews accept been published,11–13 alone two accessories accept aggregate advice from added than one continent: Biasutto et al5 included alone letters by anatomists from 13 countries, and Riederer14 included abrupt advice from the abstract for 35 countries.
In this article, we aim to accommodate an antecedent overview of accustomed practices apropos sources of bodies acclimated at anatomical sciences departments worldwide. We aggregate this advice from a ample chase of the abstract and a assay we beatific to called anatomists. While bodies are additionally acclimated for postgraduate medical training and for research,15 we absitively to focus on the use for assay teaching in undergraduate medical curricula.
Collecting these abstracts on a all-around calibration is a claiming accustomed the chaotic and unstandardized attributes of absolute research. Accordant advice apropos the sources of bodies can be begin in both quantitative studies (e.g., bounded surveys) and qualitative studies (e.g., interviews with anatomists) and sometimes is aloof mentioned as an a in texts on assay education.
Therefore, to get an overview of the accustomed practices apropos the sources of bodies acclimated in undergraduate medical curricula on all continents (excluding Antarctica), we conducted a actual ample chase of the literature. In June 2016 (with an amend in June 2017), we searched the online platforms PubMed and ResearchGate application key agreement such as assay or assay accumulated with donation, unclaimed, or dissection. We additionally included abstract from advertence lists, articular via ancestor or “snowball” searching. We included accessories appear from 2002 onward. This aeon of 15 years was a accommodation amid a advice and advantage of as abounding countries as possible. Also, our aboriginal searches showed that accordant abstract was appear infrequently afore 2002.
We organized the accessible advice from the abstract into an Excel spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel 2016, Adaptation 15.30, Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, Washington), allocation and allocation the abstracts for anniversary country by the blazon of antecedent of bodies and the bulk of bodies acquired from the corresponding sources.
As a accommodation amid an overview and a abundant analysis, we absitively to accomplish the absolute states of the apple the aboriginal bounded assemblage of analysis, alike if this meant that we did not differentiate any added (e.g., the states aural India, Germany, or the United States). From an aboriginal annual of 194 countries (193 United Nations affiliate states added Taiwan), we alone all abate states afterwards medical schools (based on advice from an online agenda of medical schools16). We additionally alone Micronesia and abate Caribbean states and territories (see capacity below). We were larboard with a annual of 165 countries. In the case of adverse affirmation for a country, we absitively in favor of the added contempo advertisement and/or the advice based on a added absolute description of the situation.
As authors rarely gave specific percentages for the allotment of corresponding sources in the all-embracing availability of bodies, it accustomed absurd to array the abstracts based on numeric values. As bodies added than donated or bearding bodies were rarely used, we created categories based on the mix of these two sources and classified countries application the afterward broadly authentic groups:
It charge be added that we authentic “donation” in this assay as a bequeathal by the asleep being during his or her lifetime. It is accessible that some authors additionally included donation by ancestors associates in this category; however, this assay of donation was not absolutely mentioned in the analyzed literature. Some authors alike acclimated “donation” to alarm “donations by institutions” to assay departments,17 but we categorized such “donations” beneath bearding bodies.
As our abstract chase alone provided acceptable advice for 54 countries, we absitively to supplement the calm abstracts through a survey. To accumulate advice for countries area advice from the abstract was defective or ambiguous, we created a abbreviate assay apparatus that included questions with acknowledgment options constant with the above-mentioned categories of assay sources in assay departments (see Supplemental Digital Appendix 1 at http://links.lww.com/ACADMED/A540). We afresh approved to assay chief anatomists who could acquaint us about the bearings in their countries. These anatomists were articular by Internet assay or through claimed contacts via the IFAA. Amid August 2016 and February 2017, we beatific the English-language assay to 42 anatomists and asked for a acknowledgment via e-mail. We beatific a translated adaptation to Spanish-speaking anatomists; we additionally offered accord in French, which, however, was not requested.
We did not accept admission to IRB assay at the time of the assay (see ethical approval disclosure), but we took measures to assure respondents. All anatomists arrive to participate in the assay were absolutely chargeless to respond, were reminded alone once, and were appropriately not put beneath any pressure. We absolutely asked whether respondents would accede to be quoted as the antecedent of the advice they provided. Alone 1 of the 17 respondents who supplied acceptable added advice for their country beneath to be quoted. We absitively about to assay and address all assay abstracts anonymously. To this effect, these abstracts were afar from the names of the respondents and chip anonymously into the above-mentioned spreadsheet.
Through our abstract chase and our survey, we acquired advice for 71 (43%) of the 165 countries with medical schools (see Figure 1 and Table 1). Advice about these countries’ sources of bodies is provided in Table 2. Advice is still defective for abounding countries, decidedly in Africa, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia.
According to assay responses, medical schools in three countries in Oceania (Fiji, Samoa, and Solomon Islands) do not use anatomical anatomization at all. (These countries, therefore, are not listed in Table 2.) Whether the aforementioned is accurate for added countries could not be confirmed. As mentioned above, we did not accommodate Micronesia and abate absolute states and European territories from the Caribbean, which alone accept adopted medical schools that mainly baby to U.S. medical students. According to assay responses, they usually use either bearding bodies or bodies alien from the United States, and appropriately reflect the access of assay accretion of the United States rather than a access of their own.
Among the actual 68 countries, 22 (32%) alone use donated bodies, while 21 (31%) alone use bearding bodies. Best of the added countries annex a mix of bearding and donated bodies, with the majority application added bearding than donated bodies (see Table 1). Overall, in 45 countries (66%), bearding bodies are acquired for assay education.
As for “other sources,” in four countries in Asia (Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Turkey)—as in the Caribbean—the bounded accumulation of bearding or donated cadavers is not acceptable and is accordingly supplemented by acceptation of bodies from away (see Table 2 for references). In Africa, Libya is unique; Gangata et al13 address that acceptation from India is the alone antecedent of bodies. However, accustomed the ambiguous political bearings in Libya, this information, which was appear in 2010, may not represent the accustomed bearings anymore. In Nigeria, assay donation does not exist,5,18 but according to some sources, a accordant admeasurement of bodies are not aloof bearding but, in fact, axis from “killed” abyss handed over to the anatomists by the police,13,19,20 although this is not absolutely mentioned by added sources.5 Anyanwu and coauthors19,20 address of “executed criminals” in this context, but it charcoal cryptic how abounding are judicially bedevilled abyss adjoin “suspects that were attack during afterward and arrest.”19 For no added country did we accretion letters in the analyzed abstract of a contempo use of bodies of accomplished individuals. Finally, we came beyond letters of anatomical assay that acclimated tissues or organs acquired during argumentative autopsy.21 We begin no evidence, however, that this antecedent was anytime acclimated for educational purposes.
In this analysis, we looked at sources of animal bodies acclimated in assay departments with a focus on their use in assay teaching in undergraduate medical curricula. We were able to accumulate advice for 71 countries about the apple through our ample abstract chase and survey. Our allegation authenticate that assay donation programs are able-bodied accustomed as the absolute or above antecedent of bodies in best genitalia of Europe and North America; in Australia and New Zealand; and in some genitalia of Asia and South America. Our allegation additionally demonstrate, however, that in the majority of advised countries worldwide, anatomists still depend on bearding bodies. In a abundant cardinal of countries, anatomists additionally depend on importing preserved bodies from abroad. To our knowledge, such alien bodies mostly axis from the United States (usually donated bodies); from India (usually bearding bodies); or, in the case of Malaysia, from the Philippines (source of bodies unclear).5 This convenance raises apropos apropos an all-embracing “trade” of asleep bodies with an often-dubious ethical foundation.22 In addition, in at atomic one country, the bodies of accomplished individuals are still handed over to anatomists,19 which raises the affair of whether this ethically advancing practice9 is advancing but unreported in added places.
Given the IFAA’s recommendation7 to accomplish assay donation the gold accustomed of assay accretion in assay departments, the catechism arises as to why anatomists in so abounding countries accept not yet been able to authorize activity assay donation programs but, rather, abide to await on bearding bodies. An acknowledgment should annual for the diff bounded administration of the use of donated and bearding bodies (see Figure 1). Initially, bread-and-er affidavit ability be assumed, as assay donation prevails in higher-income countries, while anatomists in poorer countries assume to depend added on bearding bodies and added sources. However, the economically affluent Arab Gulf States accept no assay donation programs.
This suggests that adoration may comedy a added important role. No Muslim-majority countries, including the Arab Gulf States, accept aerial assay donation rates. Buddhist-majority countries (Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan), on the added hand, await alone on assay donation. In India, bodies donated for anatomical purposes mainly axis from bodies of Hindu religious background,5 afresh acknowledging the abstraction that adoration has a able influence. In Christian-majority countries, the bearings seems added heterogeneous.
Elamrani et al23 altercate that, from a apostolic point of view, Islam does not avert anatomization or assay donation, and they achieve that “the botheration is absolutely cultural, civic and aldermanic and not religious.” As for legislation, the abridgement of adapted acknowledged structures is about quoted as a acumen for deficiencies in assay donation.24,25 We suggest, however, that these factors are related: Legislation apropos the assay of asleep bodies usually follows bounded adoration and custom. As for religion, people’s behavior may not consistently accede with theologians’ views, as Elamrani et al23 about suggest, and may be a by bounded ability and religion—if these two can be afar at all.
Religion, folk beliefs, culture, and bounded history all accept an access on what bodies anticipate should appear to the assay afterwards afterlife and on the ritual and airy accent of an “intact” assay (at atomic for a assertive time afterwards death). This seems acute in our ambience because anatomical use acutely interferes with these ritual protocols.10,26,27 In the West, changes in these perceptions during the 20th aeon led to ascent burying ante and allegedly additionally to a greater alertness for assay donation.2 It is believable that accepting burying may accord with accepting anatomization as accession assay of afterward “destruction.” It is appetizing to associate assay donation ante with burying rates: For example, best European countries with low donation ante in our assay (e.g., Italy, Romania, Serbia) additionally accept analogously low burying rates.28 However, this does not annual for all differences.
This development in the West may additionally be allotment of a action of accretion secularization, which may be arch some individuals to accede burying a abortive ritual and anatomization a added benign use of concrete remains. The archetype of Buddhist-majority societies, however, shows that accepting of assay donation is not alone accessible in a secularized context. At atomic one aspect of assay donation, the altruistic act of donation, is accurate by best if not all above religions.29
Finally, donation programs depend on the assurance of the bounded communities, which may be afflicted by bounded history.30 For example, Kramer and Hutchinson31 address that in South Africa, atramentous Africans are added afraid than added indigenous groups to accord their bodies, which according to these authors is not alone accompanying to “cultural beliefs” amid this accumulation but additionally to the country’s “political history”—a history in which the bodies of the atramentous African citizenry were exploited for the apprenticeship of white students.32 Similar affidavit may be abaft the anxiety of African Americans adjoin assay donation in the United States.33
Our allegation are preliminary, and it charcoal difficult to draw alike acting abstracts to explain the all-around assortment in assay sources for assay teaching purposes, as the sources are bent by assorted bounded factors. Approaching assay should aftermath a added abundant allegory of these altered legal, religious, social, cultural, and actual contexts on a all-around scale. Our allegation are additionally bound by the abridgement of advice for abounding countries about the apple and by abeyant changes in the countries for which alone earlier publications were available. Our allegation may additionally reflect our accent limitations and the belted advantage of the claimed and institutional networks we fabricated use of in our survey. Moreover, as the accordant advice was not appear in any connected way, our assay of countries depended on a possibly abstract estimation of the accustomed information, sometimes from a distinct source, which had to be accustomed in our attack to awning best regions of the world.
Nevertheless, our allegation can serve as a base for the accumulating of added information. We intend to accumulate a annual of assay sources by country on the IFAA website,34 which we will consistently amend by scanning arising publications and agreeable readers to accommodate added advice to access the cardinal of included countries and to annihilate accessible errors in our estimation of the accessible information. The basic abstracts we accept aggregate and appear actuality are additionally meant to be baseline abstracts that can serve as a actual allegory to acknowledge abiding changes in this field.
The actuality of activity donation programs on every abstemious and in actual altered cultural contexts provides advance for the future. Although our abstracts are not acceptable to prove a all-around trend over the accomplished 15 years, we begin several examples of a about-face adjoin application beneath bearding and added donated bodies. To name aloof two of them: In Porto Alegre in Brazil, assay donation ante rose badly afterwards bounded anatomists started a accessible acquaintance campaign, which enabled the anatomists to about-face the capital antecedent of bodies for their administration from bearding to donated bodies aural 5 years.35 In Taiwan, a acceptable acceptance that cadavers should not be abashed afterwards afterlife bedfast assay donation for a connected time. However, by amalgam abeyant donors as able-bodied as medical accepting in a new, culturally allusive access to donation and dissection, anchored in Buddhist traditions, it has been accessible to affected these anxiety and authorize a well-functioning donation program.36,37
We achievement that approaching changes in this acreage will about go in the administration of accretion assurance on assay donation afterward the IFAA’s recommendations.7 It is not our aim to accuse anatomists in added genitalia of the world—in Europe it took centuries to go from the aboriginal anatomical dissections to today’s assay donation programs. It may accordingly additionally be too aboriginal to accede authoritative assay donation programs an all-embracing accreditation accustomed for medical schools. However, we would like to animate all anatomists who use bearding or alien bodies to try to install bounded assay donation programs and appropriately to attach to the ethical accustomed of the IFAA recommendations.
The authors are decidedly beholden for the abutment of Prof. Susana Biasutto, Cordoba, Argentina, who translated the assay into Spanish and helped to acquaintance abounding colleagues in South America. The authors additionally acknowledge Ms. Ana Lankes, London, for advice with the English arrangement and the librarians Ms. Grest and Ms. Mohnicke in Neuruppin for their able help. The authors accurate their acknowledgment to all anatomists who provided information.
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