The Anatomy Bequest Program receives whole body donations in order to support medical education and research requests from within the state of Minnesota. The primary mission of the Anatomy Bequest Program is to support medical education and research requests which come from academic institutions, governmental organizations, non-profit, and for-profit organizations.
Most requests for access to human anatomical material fall into one of two categories. The first category is education. The Anatomy Bequest Program supports the anatomy education of several thousand future and current health care providers annually. Clinical skills training labs and continuing education requests have increased tremendously in the past five years. Beyond this educational category, human anatomical material from the Anatomy Bequest Program has been part of the education of citizens as well in such venues as the Minnesota State Fair for heart and brain health events, middle and high school for drug and tobacco use prevention campaigns, and the University of Minnesota Mini Medical School.
The second category is research. The University of Minnesota is a progressive research institution credited with many novel healthcare advances. Medical researchers need access to human anatomical material to better understand disease processes as well as work to identify new treatments and cures. The Twin Cities area is known as a biomedical hub. There are many biomedical device companies which are working to better understand and treat a variety of diseases and need access to human anatomical material to inform their work.
A common request involves a health care provider working with biomedical engineers on either a novel therapy technique or device to treat a disorder or disease.
How to request access to human anatomical material
How ABP can support your request
The Anatomy Bequest Program can provide a variety of different types of medical education and research support. More information on the support services offered can be found here.
The Anatomy Bequest Program works to try to make it easy for educators and researchers to do the right thing while keeping an ethical and legal framework in place to protect the public’s trust in our program and maintain respect for the donor and his or her family.
Here is a sample of a few policies the Anatomy Bequest Program has in place:
The Anatomy Bequest Program only supports requests from within Minnesota unless special circumstances warrant an exception and with the additional permission from the donor’s next-of-kin or authorized person.
The Anatomy Bequest Program audits each facility requesting use of human remains prior to release of the human anatomical material. All human anatomical material must be returned the Anatomy Bequest Program for final disposition.
The Anatomy Bequest Program requires all students registered in an Anatomy lab to participate in a lab orientation session given in person by a program staff member or by watching the video below. After the orientation, each student must review and sign an orientation disclosure form.