Essay on issues of anatomical ethics (summary)

© 2013 R.M. Khayrullin

2013 – № 1 (5)

Key wordsbiomedical ethics, professional ethics, human anatomy

Abstract: The subject of this paper is the problem of ethics relationship to the human body after his death under the current global educational anatomical practice in training health professionals. The unresolved and ambiguous attitudes of professional anatomists to this problem are showed and the lack of adequate ethical and legal regulations. The author believes that the original set of ethical principles attitudes to body of postmortem human (anatomical Code) must take one of the positions in contemporary biomedical ethics, is necessary to determine the feasibility and ethical justification for the use of human bodies for educational purposes.

Ethical issues of science, which history counts thousands of years, are not reflected in contemporary biomedical ethics. These problems include the ethical issues of human anatomy. Ethical problems of anatomy are most relevant to the real anatomical practice of everyday academic preparation of cadavers by medical students in the anatomy halls, performing autopsies and embalming the bodies of outstanding persons. The range of ethical issues of anatomy as a science and as an academic discipline, vary from the psychological moments, related to perceptions of death in the form of a specific body of a deceased person, to creating mausoleums, objects-symbols, filled with ideological content and having decisive importance for the political system of the individual states.

For most people it is difficult to understand or to get a feel of what is meant by “anatomical theatre”. The blame lies with standard stereotypical representations, cultivated by the society, that everything associated with death of any particular person, and death, in general, has a huge negative charge of explicit and subconscious fear of the irreversible and the unknown. Among anatomists who daily contact with the face of death in the shape of a particular human body, there are few who think that ethical regulation of their professional activity is necessary, because official medicine is the most conservative public corporation.

The modern computer technologies allow for creating the illusion of an anatomical dissection, but no medical school in the world dared to teach future doctors and nurses via Internet or distant learning tools. Humanization of human anatomy, as paradoxical as it may sound, should become a vital task of biomedical ethics, similar to debates on possibility of human cloning. This gap in bioethics should be compensated in some general (main) principles. For example, this can be the principle of recognition of uniqueness (uniqueness) of an individual body, as well as the whole person; legal regulation of a human right to ban or permit use of separate organs or the whole body after his/her death for museum or educational purposes. This is also legal and psychological protection of specialists who work with postmortem humans, including protection from a negative image, negative assumptions in the public opinion, as well as provision of psychological. A specific set of ethical principles on postmortem human (Anatomical Code) must take one of the recognized positions in contemporary biomedical ethics. The fundamental basis is to determine the feasibility and ethical justification of educational autopsies in training of medical students.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *