Ethics and Medical Humanities (FICEM)

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Goals of FICEM


  • We are worried about an increasing commercialization of the dead body (see e.g. this recent news article) and hope to produce a statement on this topic in the near future.
  • The recommendations of good practice for body donation are now directly available on the IFAA website – click the button “RECOMMENDATIONS” in the menu above!
  • The journal Clinical Anatomy has recently published a special issue on “Ethics in Anatomy” (January 2016), edited by Gareth Jones. Please visit:
    All articles are open source!
  • In May 2015, we have started a mailing list for all anatomists with an interest in the ethics of anatomy. See the following page:
    where you will find all details and where you can join this list.

Andreas Winkelmann, October 2017

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. 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 recent 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 August 2014, 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” Until the next IFAA meeting in 2019, 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”.

Policies/Statements of National and International Anatomical Organizations

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

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

United States (Uniform Anatomical Gift Act)

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.