Anatomy education: the unforgettable contributions of Hermann Stieve

Charles Aidemise Oyinbo1*, Tamuno-Olobo Johnbull1, Atoni Dogood Atoni1
1Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
*Correspondence: Charles Aidemise Oyinbo;

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This article examines Hermann Philipp Rudolf Stieve’s (1886–1952) contributions to anatomy education. The purpose of this piece was to remind us how he contributed to knowledge despite finding himself in a politically unfavourable situation. Articles about Stieve in PubMed journals and original archives on the internet were consulted for this piece. Hermann Stieve was a contemporary anatomist whose contributions were critical to the evolution of modern anatomy, albeit with contention, which sparked scientific debates on ethical concerns with some of his works. He was accused of exploiting the “Third Reich” for his benefit and thus indirectly supporting this Nazi system of injustice. However, Stieve showed that his primary interest was science by donating his body for research. He was eager to allow other anatomists to work on his remains, but his wife refused to release his body after his death. However, Stieve Hermann’s research was methodologically accurate and contributed significantly to the development of anatomy education, though with ethical questions. He was the director of his university’s Institute of Anatomy, and his work was only interrupted in 1952 by his death. During his lifetime, he was honoured with membership in the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, the German Academy of Sciences in Leopoldina, and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He wrote multiple papers about the impact of stress on the female reproductive system, claiming that life-threatening stress reduces ovulation. Stieve was a brilliant anatomist who made significant contributions to anatomy education, but his work was marred by ethical issues.

Key words: German anatomist, menstrual cycle, histology, research ethics.

Cite this article: Oyinbo CA, Johnbull T, Atoni AD. Anatomy education: the unforgettable contributions of Hermann Stieve. Yen Med J. 2022;4(2):28–33.


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