Body donation for research and teaching purposes: operational criteria and ethical aspects

Main Article Content

Rosagemma Ciliberti
Matteo Gulino
Gianluca Montanari Vergallo
Alessandro Bonsignore


Body donation, Research and education, Dissection, Organ donation, Italian law no. 10/2020, Ethics


Italy continues to legislate on the donation of one’s body and post-mortem tissues for the purposes of study, education, and scientific research. With the new Regulation n. 47 dated February 10, 2023, specific rules have been established regarding the activities of research centers, the procedures for receiving bodies, and the criteria for exclusion. Additionally, the regulation outlines initiatives that regions and local health authorities must adopt to promote donation policies among healthcare professionals and citizens. This new regulation represents a significant advancement for the anatomical community, providing practical guidelines for body donation programs.

In these educational initiatives, universities and reference centers also play a central role as they can engage in informative and ongoing dialogue with the community. This dialogue aims to help dispel psychological barriers, irrational fears, and concerns surrounding body donation.

This article briefly presents the new Italian regulatory framework, highlighting the main critical issues and ethical dilemmas. Furthermore, it discusses some ethical and deontological concerns of the new rules that require improvement, and provides recommendations for good practices.

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