Co-sponsored by the Ackerman Program on Medicine and Culture, Harvard University; the Center for the History of Medicine in the Francis A. Countway Library; the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; and the Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital
Anatomy as a science and as an educational discipline in the medical curriculum is forever in transition. One of the greatest areas of change in recent decades has been the systematic evaluation of ethical questions in anatomy. At the center of these deliberations is the status of the dead human body, which is no longer only seen as a mere “object” or “material” of research or as an educational “tool.” Rather, it is described as a body that still has connections with the person who once inhabited it, thus becoming part of a social network of knowledge gain and requiring respectful treatment.
This change of perspective will be explored in the symposium, “Human Tissue Ethics in Anatomy, Past and Present: From Bodies to Tissues to Data.” An international group of scholars will discuss the ethical aspects of existing questions, explore the relevance of non-profit and for-profit body donation, and examine newly emerging technologies in anatomy that may need innovative ethical approaches. The aim of this symposium is to present evidence for the insight that transparent and ethical anatomical body and tissue procurement is indeed at the core of medical ethics in research and education.
Panel 1: Human Tissue Ethics in Historical Contexts of Anatomy: Scott H. Podolsky, Harvard Medical School, Chair
- Dominic Hall, Harvard Medical School: The Second Life of Specimens: Scientific and Historical Research in the Warren Anatomical Museum
- Sabine Hildebrandt, Harvard Medical School/Boston Children's Hospital: Dealing with Legacies of Nazi Anatomy: the ‘Vienna Protocol’
- Tinne Claes, Katholieke Universiteit: Why Is It So Difficult to Throw Away Fetuses? Anatomical Collections and the Meanings of Disposal
Panel 2: Human Tissue Ethics in Current Anatomical Education and Research: Dan Wikler, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Chair
- Thomas Champney, University of Miami: The Business of Bodies: Human Tissue Ethics and Commercialization
- Michel Anteby, Boston University: Nested Moralities: From National to Intimate Cadaver Trades
- Glenn Cohen, Harvard Law School/Petrie-Flom Center: The Law and Ethics of Tissue Ownership
Panel 3: Human Tissue Ethics from Physical Specimens to Data: David S. Jones, Harvard University, Chair
- Joanna Radin, Yale University: Frozen Blood, Biobanks, and the Politics of Reuse
- Maria Olejaz Tellerup, University of Copenhagen: The Anatomy of Bioavailability: Exploring Body Donation in Denmark Then, Now and in the Future
- Jon Cornwall, University of Otago: The Impact of Digital Technology on Body Donation