Articles

A study of the role and functions of inspectors of anatomy in South Africa

P Pillay, DJ McQuoid Mason, K S Satyapal

Abstract


Inspectors of anatomy are supposed to monitor and regulate the use of human tissue for teaching and research purposes. In South Africa, provincial inspectors are appointed to oversee this function. However, there is a critical shortage of such persons, and there are only three inspectors currently appointed: one in an acting capacity for KwaZulu-Natal Province, and one each for the Gauteng and Western Cape provinces, respectively. It is imperative, therefore, that the appointment of inspectors of anatomy in the other provinces be addressed urgently. The responsibilities of inspectors of anatomy towards higher-education institutions are to: (i) maintain cadaver records; (ii) ensure that cadavers are obtained in a legal and ethical manner; (iii) carry out inspections of anatomy departments at least once a year; (iv) evaluate health and safety with regard to the storage of specimens; and (v) monitor cadaver procurement. This study recommends the establishment of a National Consultative Anatomy Forum to make decisions on: (i) the type of consent required for donations of bodies; (ii) the mechanisms for the donation of bodies for teaching and research; and (iii) the treatment of unclaimed and/or unidentified bodies. In addition, the forum should advise government on policy, and provide guidelines for the donation and use of cadavers and human tissue.


Authors' affiliations

P Pillay, Department of Clinical Anatomy, School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

DJ McQuoid Mason, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Howard College School of Law, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

K S Satyapal, Department of Clinical Anatomy, School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2017;10(2):86-92. DOI:10.7196/SAJBL.2017.v10i2.00619

Article History

Date submitted: 2017-12-20
Date published: 2017-12-20

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