An Act to regulate Schools of Anatomy.
[Commencement.] [30th March, 1933]
1. Short title
This Act may be cited as the Anatomy Act.
2. Minister of Health may grant licences to practise anatomy
(1) It shall be lawful for the Minister of Health to grant a licence to practise anatomy to the Superintendent of any school of anatomy.
(2) A licence granted as aforesaid shall be deemed to authorise the practice of anatomy in such school by any teacher or medical practitioner employed therein and by any student attending a course of studies at such school when working under the supervision of such Superintendent, teacher or medical practitioner.
3. Executors or other persons having lawful custody of bodies may permit them to undergo anatomical examination
It shall be lawful for any executor or other person having lawful possession of the body of any deceased person, and not being an undertaker or other person entrusted with the body for the purpose only of interment, to permit the body of such deceased person to undergo anatomical examination, unless, to the knowledge of such executor or other person, such deceased person shall have expressed his desire, either in writing at any time during his life or verbally in the presence of two or more witnesses during the illness whereof he died, that his body after death might not undergo such examination, or unless the surviving husband or wife or any known relative of the deceased person shall require the body to be interred without such examination.
4. Provision in case of persons directing anatomical examination after their death
If any person either in writing at any time during his life, or verbally in the presence of two or more witnesses during the illness whereof he died, shall direct that his body after death be examined anatomically, or shall nominate the Superintendent of any school of anatomy, who is licensed under the provisions of this Act to examine bodies anatomically, to make such examination, and if, before the burial of the body of such person, such direction or nomination shall be made known to the person having lawful possession of the dead body, then such last mentioned person shall direct such examination to be made, and in case of any such nomination as aforesaid, shall request and permit any person so authorised and nominated as aforesaid to make such examination unless the surviving husband or wife or any known relative of the deceased person shall require the body to be interred without examination.
5. Body not to be removed without a certificate
(1) The body of a person shall not be removed for anatomical examination from any place where such person may have died unless twenty-four hours have elapsed from the time of such person’s decease; and-
(a) a certificate stating in what manner such person came by his death shall have been signed by the medical practitioner who attended such person during the illness whereof he died; or
(b) if such person was not attended by a medical practitioner during such illness, a certificate stating to the best of his knowledge and belief the manner or cause of death by some medical practitioner who shall be called in after the death of such person to view his body, but who shall not be concerned in examining the
body after removal.
(2) In the case of the removal of a body for anatomical examination, such certificate given under the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall be delivered, together with the body, to the person receiving the same for anatomical examination.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the preservation of a body for anatomical examination at any time after death by injection or otherwise by the Superintendent of a school of anatomy who is licensed under this Act or by some person authorised by such superintendent.
6. Superintendent of school of anatomy may receive bodies for anatomical examination
It shall be lawful for any Superintendent of a school of anatomy who has been licensed under this Act as aforesaid, or any teacher or medical practitioner employed in or any student attending a course of studies at such a school, the Superintendent of which has been so licensed, to receive or possess for anatomical examination in such school or to examine anatomically at such school, the body of any person deceased, if permitted or directed so to do by a person who had at the time of giving such permission or direction, lawful possession of the body and who had power, in pursuance of the provisions of this Act to permit or cause the body to be so examined, and provided such certificate as aforesaid were delivered by such person together with the body.
7. Superintendent of school of anatomy to receive with body a certificate as aforesaid and keep record of particulars of deceased
(l) Every Superintendent of a school of anatomy so receiving a body for anatomical examination shall demand and receive, together with the body, a certificate as aforesaid and shall within twenty-four hours enter or cause to be entered in a book to be kept by him for that purpose together with a copy of that certificate, the following particulars-
(a) at what hour and day the body was received;
(b) the name and address of the person from whom the body was received;
(c) the date and place of death;
(d) the sex and as far as is known at the time the first name and surname, age and last place of abode of the deceased.
(2) The book shall be produced by the Superintendent of a school of anatomy whenever required so to do by the Minister.
8. How bodies are to be removed for examination
The removal of a body for anatomical examination aforesaid shall be subject to the following conditions-
(a) the body shall, before such removal, be placed in a decent coffin or shall, and be removed therein;
(b) the person removing the body or causing the same to be removed as aforesaid shall make provisions that such body, after undergoing anatomical examination, shall be decently interred in some public burial ground in use for persons of that religious persuasion to which the person whose body was so removed
belonged or, if such persuasion is unknown, in any public burial ground;
(c) a certificate of the interment of such body shall be transmitted to the State Commissioner for Health within six months after the day on which such body was received as aforesaid:
Provided that, the said State Commissioner for Health may, from time to time, by order, vary the period within which such certificate of interment shall be transmitted as aforesaid.
9. Persons not to be liable to prosecution for having in their possession human bodies
No Superintendent of a school of anatomy who is licensed under this Act or any teacher or medical practitioner employed in or any student attending a course of studies at such a school the superintendent of which is so licensed shall be liable to any prosecution or penalty for receiving or having in his possession for anatomical examination at such school or for examining anatomically at such school, any dead human body, according to the provisions of this Act.
10. Act not to extend or prohibit post-mortem examination directed by competent authority
Nothing in this Act contained shall be construed to extend to or to prohibit any post- mortem examination of any human body required or directed to be made by any competent legal authority.
11. Penalty for contravention of this Act
Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offence and being convicted thereof shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to a fine not exceeding one hundred naira or to both such fine and imprisonment.
12. Power to make regulations prescribing forms
The Minister may make regulations for regulating the issue of and prescribing the form of licences and certificates issued under the provisions of this Act.
Credit: Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC)