The Anatomists

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 23 March 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:744
  1. Peter Dangerfield, senior lecturer and phase I MB course director.
  1. University of Liverpool

    Channel 4, 12 to 26 March, times vary

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    The study of anatomy is a core component of the education of all medical undergraduates. The United Kingdom's Anatomy Acts regulate the conditions for this important study to ensure that the cadavers are dissected within licensed premises and that licensed teachers carry out supervision and teaching.

    But how many of these medical students know anything about the reasons for this regulation or even, for that matter, anything about the history of anatomy, the focus of this series of three programmes?

    The subject of dissection has for long been seen as a taboo, condemned by society with the backing of religious edict. It is little wonder, therefore, that the early attempts to gain insight into the structure of the human body were carried out in a cloak and dagger manner.

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    The Gunther von Hagens of the renaissance: Vesalius's public dissections turned anatomy into a stage production


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