Willingness toward post-mortem body donation to science at a Mexican university: an exploratory survey

I. Meester*, M. Polino Guajardo, A. C.Treviño Ramos, J. M. Solís-Soto, A. Rojas-Martinez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Voluntary post-mortem donation to science (PDS) is the most appropriate source for body dissection in medical education and training, and highly useful for biomedical research. In Mexico, unclaimed bodies are no longer a legal source, but PDS is legally possible, although scarcely facilitated, and mostly ignored by the general population. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the attitude and willingness for PDS and to identify a sociodemographic profile of people with willingness toward PDS. Methods: A validated on-line survey was distributed by the convenience method via the social networks of a Catholicism-inspired, private university in northern Mexico. Frequency analyses of all variables and coded free comments were complemented with association studies. Results: Although the responder cohort (n = 143) was too small and biased to be representative of the university community (n = 13,500), willingness to post-mortem organ donation was 90.7% and to PDS 70.7%. In this cohort, PDS willingness had the strongest association with mature age (> 40 years old; P, 0.0008). Among young adults, willingness to PDS was the lowest among volunteers from technical and business schools and the highest among those from the social sciences (P, 0.009). Respondents from the social sciences were also the most consistent between attitude and behavior with respect to organ donation. A free comment option revealed respondents were interested in the unusual taboo topic. Conclusions: A small, but sufficiently large proportion expressed willingness toward PDS. In our university cohort, which was biased in higher education and altruism, mature age and social interest were associated with PDS willingness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101
Pages (from-to)101
JournalBMC Medical Ethics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Willingness toward post-mortem body donation to science at a Mexican university: an exploratory survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this