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Published online: 2024-04-22

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Study of social awareness regarding body donations for scientific and educational purposes

Radosław Karaś1, Tomasz Lepich1, Krzysztof Starszak1, Grzegorz Bajor12


Background: The basis of teaching anatomy is the understanding of the body’s structures using human cadavers. Body donation should be a fully conscious and voluntary act. There is a growing demand for human cadavers in medical universities. To meet these demands, it is necessary to understand the societal awareness regarding body donation.

Materials and methods: The study utilized a proprietary single-choice questionnaire while maintaining the anonymity of the respondents. The study included 1004 individuals, comprising 700 women and 304 men. The analysis employed the Mann-Whitney test, Pearson’s chi-squared test with calculation of the Cramer’s V coefficient.

Results: Among the respondents, 56.37% consider donating their bodies for scientific and educational purposes. Among the concerns associated with donation, fear of lack of proper respect for the remains by students (18.23%), family opposition (16.24%), and religious reasons (9.16%) were highlighted. Non-religious individuals are more inclined to donate their bodies for scientific and educational purposes than religious individuals (p < 0.001). Residents of rural areas and small towns are less likely to consider donating their bodies for scientific and educational purposes than residents of large cities (p = 0.002). As many as 85.76% of respondents believe that human remains are essential for effective anatomy education.

Conclusions: Increasing public awareness of cadaver donation may contribute to increasing the effectiveness of anatomy teaching at medical universities.

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