Anatomical Services Committee Special Session

Anatomical Services Committee Special Session
The Legal and Ethical Considerations of being the Guardian of the Gift
Wednesday, July 19, 2:45 – 4:15


Academic departments and anatomical donation programs may have custody of or responsibilities for anatomical collections that do not have a clear paper trail of origin or consent. Skeletal collections, embryo and fetal collections, and other historical collections may present risks or be subject to specific laws. Moreover, such collections may be most appropriately used, curated, or disposed of by personnel who are familiar with the ethical considerations, regulations and policies that apply. For example, does the recent focus to again ban fetal tissue research apply to existing collections at your institution?  Are your skeletal collections comprised of specimens from protected cultures?  Does your institution have a policy for documenting, using, or disposing of collections that may fall under state or federal regulations? Come to the ASC special session on ethical and legal considerations of osteology, embryology, and historical anatomy collections to hear about the value these collections bring to teaching and research, what risks they may present, applicable laws, ethical considerations, documentation and proper final disposition.  The University of Minnesota will share their experiences.  A panel of experts will present in their field and a moderated interview will take place using questions submitted by the ASC as well as questions from the floor.  If you would like to submit your question in advance, please contact the moderators:  David Conley; dmc@wsu.ed or Brandi Schmitt; 

Topic introduction by Angela McArthur, Director of the Anatomy Bequest Program, University of Minnesota

Michele Bratcher Goodwin

Professor Goodwin is a Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine with appointments at the School of Law, Program in Public Health, Department of Criminology, Law, & Society, Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Center for Psychology and Law. She is the founder and director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy and its Reproductive Justice Initiative.  She researches and writes about legal concerns with regard to the human body.  She is an acclaimed bioethicist and prolific author.  Professor Goodwin has published with Forbes,, the L.A. Times, Chicago Sun Times, Houston Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, and the NY Times among others.  She is the author of several highly acclaimed books, including the much anticipated, Policing The Womb, which chronicles how women’s reproduction has become the political scapegoat in Congress and legislatures across the U.S., resulting in the rise of personhood measures, practices that force women to undergo cesarean births under threat of court order, abuse of prosecutorial discretion that results in the criminalization and punishment of pregnant women for falling down steps, refusing bed rest or attempting suicide, and policies that dramatically erode reproductive liberty.

Michele frequently lectures world-wide on issues involving human rights, reproductive justice, bioethics, and health law. She served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago and as a Visiting Scholar at the University of California-Berkeley and Columbia University Law School.

Susan Myster 

Professor Susan Myster teaches in two departments, Criminal Justice and Forensics Science and Anthropology, in Hamline’s College of Liberal Arts.  She has been teaching at Hamline since 1990.  In 1996, Professor Myster and Professor Maggie Jensen (Professor Emeritus) designed and implemented the Forensic Sciences Certificate Program.  Dr. Myster has worked on several grants from the National Institute of Justice that have focused on developing and testing a methodology for analyzing and interpreting saw marks on bone (with colleagues at Mercyhurst College) and the analysis of unidentified skeletal remains, submitting bone/tooth samples for DNA analysis, and entering relevant information in the NamUs Unidentified Persons database (with colleagues at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension).   She has consulted as a Forensic Anthropologist in Minnesota and other states since 1991 and is the only American Board of Forensic Anthropology certified forensic anthropologist in Minnesota.  Professor Myster’s research interests in forensic anthropology include age estimation, traumatic injury, and the ethical issues in the practice of forensic science.  Dr. Myster holds a BA in Anthropology from Hamline University and an MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Don C. Postema, Ph.D.

Don Postema is the Program Director for Medical Bioethics at HealthPartners, a non-profit integrated health care organization in Minnesota and he is the Ethicist-in-Residence for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul.  Dr. Postema is a Professor of Philosophy at Bethel University as well as Affiliate Faculty at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Postema received his Ph.D. and M. Phil from Columbia University, a M.T.S. from Gordon – Conwell Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Wheaton College.   His areas of specialization include Ethics and Clinical Ethics, Health Care Ethics, Aesthetics, Philosophy and Culture and Film Studies.  He is a member of the American Philosophical Association and the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.


Caroline Rowe

Caroline Rowe holds a BS degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago, where she double majored in chemistry and microbiology, as well as a BA from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where she majored in anthropology. She is currently enrolled as a PhD student in biological anthropology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and was recently awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF GRFP). She has taken courses at the University of MN in osteology, zooarchaeology and human anatomy and has attended short courses at University of TN-Knoxville which focused on bone pathology/trauma and forensic anthropology methods. For her dissertation Caroline is researching the microbial degradation of bone and applying it to forensic and archaeological settings to help reconstruct behaviors surrounding time of death. Caroline also works as a teaching assistant and laboratory administrator for introduction to anthropology and as a teaching assistant for human anatomy.