Capital punishment and anatomy: History and ethics of an ongoing association

  title={Capital punishment and anatomy: History and ethics of an ongoing association},
  author={Sabine Hildebrandt},
  journal={Clinical Anatomy},
  • S. Hildebrandt
  • Published 1 January 2008
  • Political Science
  • Clinical Anatomy
Anatomical science has used the bodies of the executed for dissection over many centuries. As anatomy has developed into a vehicle of not only scientific but also moral and ethical education, it is important to consider the source of human bodies for dissection and the manner of their acquisition. From the thirteenth to the early seventeenth century, the bodies of the executed were the only legal source of bodies for dissection. Starting in the late seventeenth century, the bodies of unclaimed… 

Anatomy in the Third Reich: an outline, part 3. The science and ethics of anatomy in National Socialist Germany and postwar consequences

The history of anatomy in the Third Reich illustrates that the theory and practice of a science is dependent on the political system it exists in, and that the scientists' competence not only in their science but also in politics and ethics is a prerequisite for the freedom of science.

The evolving ethics of anatomy: Dissecting an unethical past in order to prepare for a future of ethical anatomical practice

The unethical history of human dissection throughout the ages is examined and the rationale behind the unethical practices are explored and imperative modern day ethical standards in anatomy are explored including, the ethical handling of human bodies, respecting human life, and ensuring informed consent for dissection of bodies that are donated.

Bodies and bureaucracy: The demise of the body snatchers in 19th century Britain

  • J. Philp
  • Political Science
    Anatomical record
  • 2021
The increasing demand for legislation to provide a supply of cadaveric material released the anatomists from the financial burden of dealing with grave robbers while still allowing dissection tables to be supplied with the poorest in society.

Anatomy in the Third Reich: An outline, part 2. Bodies for anatomy and related medical disciplines

All anatomical departments of German universities used bodies of the executed and other victims of the National Socialist regime for their work and Anatomists taught racial hygiene throughout the Third Reich and did research in this area.

Anatomy's use of unclaimed bodies

It is concluded that anatomists should cease using unclaimed bodies because the notion of donation has changed as demonstrated by consideration of the principles of beneficence and non‐maleficence.

The women on stieve's list: Victims of national socialism whose bodies were used for anatomical research

This history is a reminder to modern anatomy that ethical body procurement and the anatomists' caring about the body donor is of the utmost importance in a discipline that introduces students to professional ethics in the medical teaching curriculum.

The case of Robert Herrlinger: a unique postwar controversy on the ethics of the anatomical use of bodies of the executed during National Socialism.

  • S. Hildebrandt
  • Medicine
    Annals of anatomy = Anatomischer Anzeiger : official organ of the Anatomische Gesellschaft
  • 2013

Current status of identification of victims of the National Socialist regime whose bodies were used for anatomical purposes

An overview of currently available data on NS victims whose bodies were used for anatomical purposes reveals that an estimated total number of all bodies delivered to departments of anatomy lies at more than 40,000, and the so far documented number of executed persons among them at a minimum of 3,749.

The Anatomical Institute at the University of Greifswald during National Socialism: The procurement of bodies and their use for anatomical purposes.

  • Dirk AlvermannJan Mittenzwei
  • Political Science
    Annals of anatomy = Anatomischer Anzeiger : official organ of the Anatomische Gesellschaft
  • 2016

The place of ethics in practice of anatomical sciences: have we left our dark past behind and looking towards a bright future?

Observations from past and future prospects regarding ethical standards in anatomy were highlighted based on rational judgment of existing trends and defense on future prospects of ethics in anatomy based on documented arguments are concluded.



Origin of corpses received by the anatomical institute at the University of Jena during the Nazi regime.

A group of anatomists and historians has investigated the institute's association with Nazi crimes and ascertained that none of the specimens publicly displayed in the anatomical collection of the Friedrich Schiller University originated in the context of Nazi crimes.

How the Pernkopf controversy facilitated a historical and ethical analysis of the anatomical sciences in Austria and Germany: A recommendation for the continued use of the Pernkopf atlas

This historical research project confirmed the strong NS affiliation of Pernkopf and revealed the delivery of at least 1,377 bodies of executed persons to the Anatomical Institute of Vienna during the NS time.

Anatomy during the Third Reich--the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Marburg, as an example.

  • G. AumüllerK. Grundmann
  • Art
    Annals of anatomy = Anatomischer Anzeiger : official organ of the Anatomische Gesellschaft
  • 2002

The poor, the Black, and the marginalized as the source of cadavers in United States anatomical education

The physical and documentary evidence demonstrates the disproportionate use of the bodies of the poor, the Black, and the marginalized in furthering the medical education of white elites.

Viennese school of anatomy

Anatomical science played a minor role in Vienna for centuries until Gerard van Swieten, in the 18th century, recognized the importance of anatomy for medical education and established a second department of anatomy.

Bodyworlds and the Ethics of Using Human Remains: A Preliminary Discussion

The concept of informed consent presupposes substantial duties to the dead, namely duties that reckon with the meaning of the act in question and an attitude of respect and not regarding human remains as mere raw material are non-alienable substantial duties.

The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.

To the Editor.— The Council on Scientific Affairs has addressed the issue of organ donor recruitment (1982; 246:2157). Reference is made to the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA), which does not

The story of the body and the story of the person: Towards an ethics of representing human bodies and body-parts

  • Y. Barilan
  • Art
    Medicine, health care, and philosophy
  • 2005
Different aspects of the above traditions of representing the human body and how they might bear on this conflict and on contemporary bioethics and bedside practice are discussed.

The Abolition of the Death Penalty in International Law: Towards abolition: the Second Optional Protocol and other developments

Abolitionist States were encouraged by the debate in 1957 surrounding adoption of the right to life provision of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in the Third Committee of the

The Abolition of the Death Penalty in International Law

This book deals with the progress of the international community away from the use of capital punishment. It discusses in detail the abolition of the death penalty within the United Nations human