Human Tissue Ethics in Anatomy, Past and Present: From Bodies to Tissues to Data


Thursday, April 4, 2019, 9:00am to 3:00pm


Waterhouse Room, Gordon Hall

Center for the History of Medicine

Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

is pleased to announce the upcoming symposium

Human Tissue Ethics in Anatomy, Past and Present:

From Bodies to Tissues to Data

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.


Speakers include: 

• Michel Anteby, Boston University

• Thomas Champney, University of Miami

• Tinne Claes, Katholieke Universiteit

• Glenn Cohen, Harvard Law School/Petrie-Flom Center

• Jon Cornwall, University of Otago

• Dominic Hall, Harvard Medical School

• Sabine Hildebrandt, Harvard Medical School/Boston Children's Hospital

• David S. Jones, Harvard University

• Scott H. Podolsky, Harvard Medical School

• Joanna Radin, Yale University

• Maria Olejaz Tellerup, University of Copenhagen

• Dan Wikler, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


Co-sponsored by:

Ackerman Program on Medicine and Culture, Harvard University

Center for the History of Medicine in the Francis A. Countway Library

Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital