GREAT BRITAIN. Parliament
London: House of Commons, 1828.
In the first half of 1828, in response to increasing calls for reform, the British Parliament appointed a committee to "enquire into the manner of obtaining subjects for dissection by schools of Anatomy and the State of law affecting persons employed in obtaining and dissecting bodies." During the course of its investigation, the committee heard testimony from a wide range of witnesses, from eminent medical men to procurers of bodies for medical schools (these last identified only by initials). The medical men included Sir Astley Cooper, Benjamin Collins Brodie, John Abernethy, William Lawrence, Herbert Mayo, Granville Sharp Pattison (who himself was indicted for body-snatching at the age of 23), Thomas Southwood Smith, Henry Halford, John Webster and Benjamin Harrison, the treasurer of Guy's Hospital. The witness list can be found on page 13 of the committee's report. The testimony of these men, reproduced in full in the report, is followed by several appendices, including tables of paupers' deaths broken down by parish; the committee was proposing legislation that would allow the state to seize unclaimed corpses from workhouses and sell them to surgical schools. The committee's efforts were successful: In 1832 Parliament passed the Anatomy Act, granting licenses to teachers of anatomy and giving physicians, surgeons and medical students legal access to corpses unclaimed after death.
Subjects: ANATOMY › 19th Century, COUNTRIES, CONTINENTS AND REGIONS › England (United Kingdom), LAW and Medicine & the Life Sciences › Legislation, Biomedical
London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1902 – 1912.
Subjects: PUBLIC HEALTH