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Ethical Considerations when Dealing with Human Anatomical Specimens from a National Socialist Context
The anatomical collection at the Medical University of Innsbruck contains about 4,000 specimens, about half of which are of human origin. The currently ongoing investigation of the institute’s history during National Socialism (Nazi) also aims to identify specimens from this period. So far, only few macroscopic specimens from a Nazi context of injustice have been found. For many other specimens, the final clarification of the provenance does not seem possible due to limited data availability. Dealing with specimens from the National Socialist era and of unknown origin has numerous ethical implications and requires a reflective approach that considers current recommendations based on expert consensus. In the following, an application of these recommendations to the Innsbruck specimens is presented for discussion.