Sabine Hildebrandt April 05, 2023 41:58

The (Un)Ethical History of Anatomy

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In our final episode of this season of Body Banter, Dr. Sabine Hildebrandt joins us to discuss her research on the history and ethics of anatomy, specifically the history of anatomy in Nazi Germany. We talk about the current state of body donation programs in North America, who has power over knowledge of the human body, and why it's so critical to talk about the dark parts of our history so we can use that knowledge to do better in our approaches to anatomy and science. Before you listen, please be aware that this episode includes discussion of anti-Semitism and war crimes committed in Nazi Germany, including non-consensual use of deceased bodies for medical illustration.
Sabine Hildebrandt

Sabine Hildebrandt is an associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, and a lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She teaches anatomy and history of anatomy at Harvard Medical School and Harvard College. Her research interests are the history and ethics of anatomy, and specifically the history of anatomy in National Socialist Germany. Her educational approach integrates anatomy, medical history and medical ethics.

Her book “The Anatomy of Murder: Ethical Transgressions and Anatomical Science during the Third Reich” was published by Berghahn Books in January 2016, in paperback in August 2017, and is the first systematic study of anatomy during National Socialism. The biography of Jewish physician refugee Käthe Beutler was published by Hentrich & Hentrich in 2019. She is currently researching the history of the Anatomical Institute as a member of the Historical Commission on the Reichsuniversität Strassburg 1941-44. She is also co-editor of “Recognizing the Past in the Present: Medicine before, during and after the Holocaust” to be published by Berghahn Books in 2021.


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