Body Donation- Consent from Non-Related Persons: Case Series, Review, and Recommendations AR01-AR04
Dr. S.S.S.N Rajasekhar,
Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate
Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry, India.
Learning anatomy by dissection of cadavers is the best way to learn anatomy. Voluntary body donation is one of the sources of procuring cadavers. In the case of donations after hospital or non-institutional deaths, the family members of the deceased approach the hospital authorities regarding body donation of the deceased. There are situations, where there is no available accompanying near relatives of the deceased, which pose a challenge for personnel involved in the process of body donation. In two of the reported cases, the body donation was done by the live-in partner and a friend of the deceased. In another reported case, the son of the deceased was nominated by the donor at the time of registration. As the son of the deceased was not available at the time of death of the donor, donation was executed by another near relative. Anatomy Acts of individual States in the Union of India and Acts of other countries are examined about the consent for body donation by persons other than near relatives. None of the Anatomy Acts of various States in India provide an alternative in the absence of near relatives for claiming the body or for donating the body, except for Acts of Delhi and Kerala. There is a need to bring in a Unified Anatomy Act, common for all the States and Union territories in India and include: friend, live-in partner and a nominated person in the provisions of the Act to enable them to give consent for body donation.