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Dissecting “Anatomy” – Act Cap 17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria: The Need for its Amendment

Tijani AA, Adekomi DA, Owolabi JO, Adeniyi PA, and Ajao MS

Dissecting “Anatomy” – Act Cap 17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria: The Need for its Amendment

Anatomy” – Act Cap 17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria is an act made in 1933 to regulate Schools of Anatomy in Nigeria. It is arranged in twelve (12) sections, makes room for the practice of anatomy in Nigeria and makes lawful for anatomy practitioners to be licensed by the Minister of Health to practice but limits anatomy practice solely to possession of cadavers and carrying out of anatomical examination on such cadavers for the purpose of learning and research. This study assessed the need for advancement of strategies for amendment of Anatomy act in the Laws of the Federation. We dissected Anatomy act looking into its provision for establishment of machinery for constant execution of the act, training, discipline, registration and licensure of anatomy practitioners in Nigeria. We compared these with what are obtainable in seven (7) other similar and health related laws of the Federation of Nigeria. Despite the fact that Anatomy act was the first health related act made into Laws of the Federation, it is the least developed and most neglected law among its peers. While all related laws made provision for establishment of regulatory bodies with full power and adequate funding from the government, Anatomy act does not even have any link to the Ministry of Health. Even with the provision that anatomists in Nigeria will be licensed to practise their profession, not the eldest anatomist could provide an old copy of a license to practice, let alone talking of the fields of practice.We wish to recommend that strategies should be worked out on amendment of the current Anatomy act.

Key Words: Anatomy act, practicing license, regulatory body, schools of anatomy

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