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Article
May 1957

The Anatomy Acts of 1831 and 1832A Solution of a Medical Social Problem

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;99(5):678-694. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260050006002
Abstract

Community life in New England and Great Britain 120 years ago was undergoing change. The industrial revolution and recovery from the Napoleonic wars had created new political, social, and educational situations. New knowledge regarding science and economics was increasing rapidly, and, at the same time, political and social horizons were widening. The public demanded solutions of pressing problems. To ease the serious political unrest, parliamentary reforms were urgently needed, and liberal leaders came forward with remedial legislation. Medicine also was challenged by the awakening.

At the time, study of human anatomy was seriously restricted. Antiquated laws supported the prejudice of the public against dissection. Discussions between representatives of the medical profession and the public suggested the necessity of legislative action. In this communication we hope to transmit some of the atmosphere of controversy which permeated a bygone age of political and social upheaval.

The Problem  During the period 1820 to

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