Ethics and Medical Humanities (FICEM)

On this page

Goals of FICEM


  • The recommendations of good practice for body donation (published in 2012, authored by Gareth Jones, then chair of FICEM) are directly available on the IFAA website – click the button “RECOMMENDATIONS” in the menu above!
  • FICEM has produced a set of presentation slides for use in meetings or conferences encouraging body donation and the implementation of body donation programs. These can be freely downloaded as PDF-file or Powerpoint file and can be used and adapted as needed. Feel free to download them and integrate them into your presentation to support ethical ways of body procurement in anatomy.
  • An updated version of the published “World Map of Body Acquisition” can be found here.
  • Please see the new paper on “BODIES R US: Ethical Views on the Commercialization of the Dead in Medical Education and Research” published in Anatomical Sciences Education.
  • FICEM has produced a Statement on the Public Display of Plastinated Human Bodies, approved by the IFAA executive committee. Follow the link to this page or download the statement as PDF file.
  • At the IFAA meeting in London in August 2019, FICEM members organised two symposia: one on “Ethics in Anatomical Education” (see the summary and abstracts here), and one on the “Challenges of Implementing Body Donation Programs” (see the summary, abstracts and slides here).

Andreas Winkelmann, April 2020

Members of FICEM

Prof. Thomas H. Champney USA
Dr. Jon Cornwall New Zealand
Prof. Sabine Hildebrandt USA
Prof. Amadi O. Ihunwo South Africa
Prof. Gareth Jones New Zealand
Prof. Diogo Pais Portugal
Prof. Andrea Oxley da Rocha
Brandi Schmitt, MS USA
Prof. Sergio Tamayo Argentina
Prof. Guo-Fang Tseng Taiwan
Prof. Andreas Winkelmann (Chair) Germany

Goals of FICEM

Federative International Committee for Ethics and Medical Humanities (FICEM) of IFAA

For more detail, see our Five Year Strategic Plan

FICEM intends to be a think-tank and adviser for all ethical questions related to anatomical research, anatomical teaching, and anatomical collections and displays. It has been partly re-staffed at the last IFAA meeting in Beijing in 2014 and in London 2019, but will continue the efforts of the previous committee, which culminated in the issue of “Recommendations of Good Practice for the Donation and Study of Human Bodies and Tissues for Anatomical Examination“. One of our tasks will be to raise awareness for these guidelines and to support those who may have difficulties adhering to them for cultural or religious reasons.

In upcoming years, we intend to examine with an open and scientific mind the various ways of dealing with ethical issues in anatomical research and education, in order to:

  • study and compare cultural and philosophical backgrounds in anatomy research and education
  • learn from the many positive solutions that anatomy communities around the world have developed to deal with ethical issues in anatomy
  • create a network open to all those with a serious interest in ethical issues in anatomy
  • make relevant publications on ethical issues in anatomy known to a wider audience
  • encourage an international discussion among anatomists that brings in perspectives from the humanities and is open to learning from errors of the past and from positive examples of the present

Please feel free to use and distribute the material on this website and do not hesitate to contact members of FICEM (see list under “MEMBERS”) for any questions, suggestions, or feedback you may have.


We have compiled a list of relevant literature, see this extra page: Suggested Reading


This is a preliminary and growing collection of relevant web links in the field of “anatomy and ethics”. Please feel free to send links you want to see here to

Policies/Statements of National and International Anatomical Organizations / symposia

Position statements of the American Association of Anatomists  (AAA)

Statement of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA) on Body Donation and Body Exhibits

Statement of the Anatomische Gesellschaft regarding anatomy during the times of National Socialism (German only)

Seidelman W, Elbaum L, Hildebrandt S (eds.): How to deal with Holocaust era human remains: recommendations arising from a special symposium. Recommendations/guidelines for the handling of future discoveries of human victims of Nazi terror, and “Vienna Protocol” for when Jewish or possibly-Jewish human remains are discovered, by Rabbi Joseph A. Polak.[]

Teaching / Didactic Ressources

Downloadable modules on medical ethics for medical students and healthcare professionals (includes two modules on anatomical themes)

Transeuropean pedagogic anatomical research group

Links to Willed Body Programs

List of US Willed Body Programs

Legislation for Human Tissue Use

New Zealand Human Tissue Act

Australian Human Tissue Act

United Kingdom Human Tissue Act

These links to other Internet websites and Information provided by persons not affiliated with FICEM are not endorsements or referrals of any products, services or information contained in such websites, and no information in any such website has been endorsed or approved hereby. information provided and opinions expressed by others do not necessarily represent the opinion of FICEM members.