Newswise — The American Association for Anatomy, the professional home for more than 2,000 students, teachers, and practitioners of the anatomical sciences, released the following statement today on the ethical use of human tissues.

"Recent events have highlighted the ethical dilemma around the history and use of human remains for education and/or research purposes, especially tissues that were collected in the past and were not consented and donated appropriately. They may exist as legacy collections in use, in storage or on display at an institute of higher education or a museum. These tissues might originate from marginalized populations or individuals who may not have been given an opportunity or voice to authorize such uses."

"As a scientific organization, the American Association for Anatomy (AAA) supports the highest ethical standards for the use of human tissues and strives to educate its membership and the general public on the proper procurement and use of human remains for education and research. The AAA encourages institutions that maintain legacy collections of human tissues to investigate the means and manner by which those tissues were collected. If unethically collected, institutions should consider a dignified process for return or appropriate disposition. If legacy tissues continue to be used by institutions for research and education, the ethical concerns must be acknowledged and used as a teaching opportunity to educate all involved about proper consent, care, and use."

"The AAA remains committed to its core values of community, respect, inclusion, integrity, and discovery, which serve as the foundation for our society."

About AAA: The American Association for Anatomy is an international membership organization of biomedical researchers and educators specializing in the structural foundation of health and disease. AAA connects gross anatomists, neuroscientists, developmental biologists, physical anthropologists, cell biologists, physical therapists, and others to advance the anatomical sciences through research, education, and professional development. To join, visit