FICEM intends to be a think-tank and adviser for all ethical questions related to anatomical research, anatomical teaching, and anatomical collections and displays. We want to raise awareness for the IFAA guidelines introduced in 2012 (“Recommendations of good practice for the donation and study of human bodies and tissues for anatomical examination”) and to support those who may be unable to comply with these guidelines due to 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, religious and philosophical backgrounds in anatomical 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 around the world.
OBJECTIVES AND PLAN
- Making relevant information and publications available.
- The FICEM page of the IFAA site at ifaa.net will continue to present relevant information, including a list of recommended literature and web links related to the field, an online version of the “Recommendations of good practice …”.
- Creating a forum for discussion about ethical issues in the field of anatomy.
- After failure of the “ifaa-ethics” mailing list to generate discussion, we will seek alternative ways for a discussion forum and/or other ways of networking.
- Raising the awareness of ethical issues within the community of anatomists and promoting the “Recommendations of good practice …”.
- To promote body donation and awareness of ethical issues, a powerpoint presentation has been produced by FICEM that can be downloaded from the FICEM website and can be used at conferences. This powerpoint contains information on the current situation of body acquisition around the world and on the IFAA guidelines.
- Members will continuously comment on recent academic discussions by letters and original work on questions of history and ethics in anatomy and attend/organise meetings.
- Discussing current topics of ethical relevance to the international community of anatomists within the FICEM team and providing IFAA and its executive board with advice regarding these topics.
- Supporting and encouraging colleagues still using unclaimed bodies to install body donation programs.
- A list of all countries of the world and information regarding their current status of body donation has been published and is regularly updated on the FICEM website.
- Undertaking revision of “Recommendations for good practice …”.
We are currently gathering topics that warrant revision within the Recommendations. This will include, among other topics
- questions of national regulatory bodies / oversight committees / accreditation of body donation programs
- questions of ongoing transport of donated bodies and/or body parts across borders
- Cooperating with the World Medical Association (WMA) to promote body donation as the best way to acquire bodies for anatomical purposes (first contact has been established).