Anatomical Services Committee

General Information
AACA Body Donation Program
AACA Position on Body Exhibits
AACA Best Practices for Body Donor Programs
AACA Statement on the Leiden Declaration
AACA Statement on the Use of Images of Body Donors
AACA Statement on Preferential Use of Donor Material Between Academic Body Donation Programs
ASC Listserve


General Information

Article VIII, Section 9, Subsection C

The Anatomical Services Committee shall promote the activities of members who administer institutional willed body donor programs, sit on state anatomical boards and committees, and prepare cadaveric materials for education and research. It shall plan and implement the Anatomical Services Symposium when scheduled by Meeting Oversight and Program Planning Committee.

The Committee shall be jointly chaired by a Technical / Administration Co-Chair, who represents the Special Interest Group members primarily engaged in activities associated with the acquisition and preparation of the anatomical resources used in teaching and research; and an Academic Co-Chair, who holds a faculty title and has material course administration and teaching responsibilities in addition to his/her technical services duties. Both Co-Chairs are to be selected by the new President from the Committee's appointed and elected members inclusive of the Anatomical Services Councilor who is an ex officio voting member.

The Committee shall consist of six (6) appointed and elected members, each serving a three (3) year term and the Anatomical Services Councilor. The President-Elect shall appoint one (1) member in the second year of his/her term, and the President shall appoint one (1) member in the first year of his/her term. One (1) member shall be nominated by the Active Members in attendance at its annual open meeting.

Anatomical Services Councilor, ex officio

Ex Officio: James Coey ([email protected]

Presidential Appointees

2018-2021: Bobbi Morgan, Technical Co-Chair ([email protected])
2019-2022: Eileen Kalmar, Academic Co-Chair ([email protected])
2020-2023: Nirusha Lachman ([email protected])


Members Elected at Annual SIG Meeting of Committee

2018-2021: Scott Barton ([email protected])
2019-2022: Kelsey Byers ([email protected])
2020-2023: Amanda Collins ([email protected])


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AACA Willed Body Position

In an official memorandum adopted by the American Association of Clinical Anatomists--May 31, 1990 and published in Clinical Anatomy 4(3):232, 1991, the Association went on record as expressing concern regarding ". . . independent entrepreneurs, acting as third-party brokers by supplying fresh tissues for clinical workshops and certain donor programs that appear to be operating for budget enhancement. We are concerned because their acts likely betray the trust of the donors themselves and jeopardize the reputation and integrity of all donor programs.

We strongly recommend that each state, province or institution directly control its donor program and assure fulfillment of the trust of both its donors and the public at large and compliance with the legal statutes of its state or province. A program fully responsible to medicine and the public will likely include:

  1. direct supervision of and responsibility for the donor program by a full-time anatomy faculty member or committee
  2. approval of a written protocol in advance of the use of all bodies and parts on and off site
  3. control over all transfers and disposal of remains in a legal and ethical manner.

The AACA agrees to act as a resource for programs seeking advice and assistance to accomplish these objectives.

The concerns of this memorandum were the product of a special forum on the Exploitation of Body Donor Programs held as far back as the 7th Annual Meeting of the AACA in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, June, 1990."

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AACA Position on Body Exhibits

The AACA supports the education of the general public, through the display of human anatomical materials, provided those materials has been legally and ethically obtained. The displaying venue should comply with federal, state, and local laws and regulations on public health and safety. Rather than for mere monetary gain or exhibitionism, the public display of these materials should be dignified, respectful, and fulfill a stated scientific educational objective. The study of human anatomy for the purpose of improving the human condition benefits us all. 

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AACA Best Practices for Body Donor Program (2017)

The Anatomical Services Committee of the AACA has put together a document that outlines the best practices for running a body donor program. To view the file, please click here. The second version of the file was updated as of July 17, 2017.

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AACA Response to the Leiden Declaration

The Anatomical Services Committee has read and discussed the Leiden Declaration on Human Anatomy/Anatomical Collections.  As anatomists, educators and directors of whole body donation programs, we recognize the historical and educational importance of anatomical collections.  We concur with the authors’ statements that a number of collections are subjected to unsuitable storage conditions or general neglect, which inhibits specimen usefulness or causes them to be irreparably damaged.  The historical knowledge lost due to poor or absent documentation and attrition of managing personnel is tragic.  Documentation of provenance and dating of collections is especially pertinent to us given contemporary issues such as consent/ authorization for use or in situations where an anatomical specimen that has been gifted to an institution may be put on display. Equally important is a proper final disposition of items or collections that are damaged or have reached the end of their useful life. Preserving anatomical collections for study and reference benefits scholars, students and the public alike.  We commend the authors for their initiative and support their call for the protection, care and preservation of anatomical collections.


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AACA Statement on the Use of Images of Body Donors

Photography, videography, and other images of anatomical specimens from donated bodies can be valuable resources in medical education and research. These images can enhance the educational experience or illustrate research results. Donation programs should implement policies regarding the capture and use of images. This is commonly accomplished by seeking the advice of institutional experts and stakeholders including legal and ethical advisors. These policies should be consistent with a donor's consent/authorization and include guidance on the distribution of the derived images including, for example, to the general public through unsecured sharing methods and through social media postings. 

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AACA Statement on Preferential Use of Donor Material Between Academic Body Donation Programs

On occasion, an academic body donation program may choose to decline a donation.  It is the position of the AACA that each donation program should develop policies and procedures to preferentially refer donations declined for reasons other than infectious disease concerns to other academic programs. The AACA takes the position that the sharing and use of anatomical materials between academic partners best fulfills the mission of the anatomic education of current and future healthcare practitioners, while also satisfying the desires of whole body donors.

The AACA believes that by following the AACA sanctioned guidance document titled ‘2017 Best Practices For Body Donation Programs’, academic body donation programs can best honor a donor’s priceless contribution to medical education and research. 


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ASC Listserve

All emails from this new Google Groups hosted listserve will come with the following subject prefix: [aaca-anatomical-services-listserve]

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