Attitudes of medical and allied medical students from Serbia toward whole body donation

Biljana Srdić Galić, Zorka Drvendžija, Goran Štrkalj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anatomy, one of the key pre-clinical subjects in medical and allied medical disciplines, has traditionally relied on instruction based on the utilization of cadavers. Acquiring cadavers for anatomy education has presented a challenge in many countries. This challenge has been met through the organization of well informed and culturally sensitive body donation programs. Attitudes of the general population, medical professionals and students are important in devising these programs. The aim of this study was to investigate attitudes of medical and allied medical students from the University of Novi Sad toward whole body donation. A survey was carried out on the first and third year students enrolled in all degrees taught at the University and the sixth year medical students. A large number of respondents (87.38%) perceived cadavers as important in anatomy education. The majority of students (51.26%) would support the body donation of a stranger, while a much smaller proportion of respondents would become donors (19.51%) or support their family members (21.67%) to bequeath their body. There were differences in attitudes toward body donation related to respondents’ year of study, ethnicity and religion. The main reasons for donation were altruistic, while the main reasons not to donate were lack of information and religious factors. Most of the respondents were in favor of introducing memorial services for the body donors. The results of the study highlight the importance of a culturally sensitive approach to students in the anatomy laboratories and the enrichment of anatomy education through the humanities. They also underscore the significance of well-organised and informative body donation programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1388-1402
Number of pages15
JournalBioscience Journal
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

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