Survey of Public Opinion about Human Taphonomy Facilities - Participant Information Sheet  

1. Survey of public opinion on Human Taphonomy facilities to determine whether a UK based facility is a viable proposition.  
A Human Taphonomic Facility (HTF) refers to a secure, outdoor research facility where forensic investigations can be conducted in to the decomposition process on human cadavers (bodies) in a variety of scenarios and settings. The aim of a project like this is not only to further scientific knowledge on how the decomposition process is affected by different environmental factors, but also to aid in the application of science when determining time since death and how an individual died in criminal cases.  

2. Invitation paragraph.
You have been invited to participate as a member of the public who is over 18 years of age. We are trying to survey public opinion about Human Taphonomy Facilities.  

3. Why are we doing this research?
The aim of this survey is to acquire the honest opinions of the general public in order to ascertain whether the development of such a facility in the UK is a viable proposition.  

4. Why have I been invited to take part?
You have been asked to take part in this survey, as you are over the age of 18. It is hoped that you will be one of over 1,000 participants.  

5. Do I have to take part?

No, your involvement in this study is totally voluntary. You may request that your details are withdrawn from the study at any time. You will presented with an informed consent section, by clicking the start button you confirm that you give your consent to participate. If you wish to withdraw, you do not have to give a reason.  

6. What will happen to me if I take part?
You will be asked to complete a range of questions with various scales relating to Human Taphonomy Facilities. In total the survey should not take more than 20 minutes of your time. After your answers have been taken, they will be analysed anonymously and results will be recorded in a spreadsheet.  

7. What will I be asked to do?
You will be asked to complete a range of questions relating to Human Taphonomy Facilities. The questions/statements have a scale based answer system to help you give a more precise answer.  

8. What will happen to my data?

All data that is collected will be kept anonymous during and after the study has been completed with only the researchers having access to the data. The data may be stored for up to 5 years after the completion of the study, in password-protected files, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. You may have your data removed at any time, without giving a reason.  

9. What will happen to the results of the research study?
Once the results are collaborated and analysed using various statistical methods there is an intention to publish the results. If this happens, no identifying information will be included in the publication.  

10.Who is organising the research?
This research if being supervised by Dr Anna Williams, School of Applied Sciences, University of Huddersfield. The University of Huddersfield has authorised this research.  

11. What are the possible disadvantages of taking part?
Due to the nature of the Human Taphonomy and what it entails some people may feel uncomfortable when reading some of the questions/statements. Some of the questions may be confronting or challenging, particularly if you have suffered a recent bereavement. You do not have to complete any parts of the survey if you feel uncomfortable about them.  

12. What are the possible benefits of taking part?
This results of the study will help give a much clearer indication of whether a UK based Human Taphonomy Facility is a viable proposition, which can ultimately help to increase our knowledge in the field of forensic science.  

13. Contact details
Supervisor – Dr Anna Williams – a.williams@hud.ac.uk  

Informed Consent


By clicking on the start button you confirm that you consent to your participation.  

Start
 
Please answer these questions as honestly as you can. All your answers will be kept anonymous. There are no right or wrong answers.

 
What is your age? *


 
With which gender identity do you most identify? *


 
Which country do you currently reside in? *

 
What is your occupation? *

 
What is your religion? *


 
Have you been bereaved in the last year? *


 
Please state with which ethnic group you identify. *

 
Human Taphonomy Facilities (HTFs) in general.

To what extent do you agree with the following statements?

 
I have heard of HTFs and I am aware of what they are for.


 
If you have answered 'No' to the previous question and would like more information about HTFs, please visit this link:                  

             http://htf4uk.blogspot.co.uk/p/what-are-htfs.html

 
I recognise why there might be a need for a facility studying human decomposition.

 
Human Taphonomy research at HTFs should be carried out.

 
I have heard of Taphonomic facilities in the UK that use animal carcasses* as decompositional models for human bodies.

*Animals are not slaughtered for the purpose of research.
 
Scientific research carried out at HTFs.

To what extent do you agree with the following statements?

 
I believe that donated human cadavers should be used for anatomy schools only.

 
I believe that donated human cadavers should be used in forensic research†.

†Assuming that the donor gave informed consent for this activity.
 
I believe that animal carcasses* should not be used for forensic research.

*Animals are not slaughtered for the purpose of research.
 
I recognise there may be limitations to the research when using animal carcasses* in place of human cadavers.

*Animals are not slaughtered for the purpose of research.
 
I would prefer that donated human cadavers were used for forensic research rather than animal carcasses*.

*Animals are not slaughtered for the purpose of research.
 
Knowing there are already established facilities in the USA and Australia makes me more comfortable with the idea of having a UK based HTF.

 
Knowing that human cadavers are already used in medical research in the UK makes me more comfortable with the idea of having a UK based HTF.

 
I can see how forensic scientists would find the research produced by HTFs useful.

 
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Forensic based TV shows give me an understanding of why a Human Taphonomy Facility would be necessary.

 
I would be comfortable knowing that human cadavers were left on the ground surface in order for researchers to study the decomposition process†.

†Assuming that the donor gave informed consent for this activity.
 
I would be comfortable knowing that human cadavers were left in shallow graves in order for researchers to study the decomposition process†.

†Assuming that the donor gave informed consent for this activity.
 
I would be comfortable knowing that human cadavers were hanging from trees in order for researchers to study the decomposition process†.

†Assuming that the donor gave informed consent for this activity.
 
I would be comfortable knowing that human cadavers were left in cars in order for researchers to study the decomposition process†.

†Assuming that the donor gave informed consent for this activity.
 
I would be comfortable knowing that human cadavers were being retained for educational and training purposes†.

†Assuming that the donor gave informed consent for this activity.
 
Body donation.

To what extent do you agree with the following statements?

 
I would be interested in donating my body to an anatomy school.

 
I would be interested in donating my body to an HTF.

 
I would rather donate my body to an anatomy school than to an HTF.

 
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I would rather donate my body to an HTF than to an anatomy school.

 
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At this time, how likely is it that you will donate your body to an anatomy school in the event of your death?

 
At this time, how likely is it that you will donate your body to an HTF (if one existed in the UK) in the event of your death?

 
Body donation of a loved one.

To what extent do you agree with the following statements?

 
I would have no objections if a loved one gave informed consent to donate his/her body to an HTF.

 
I would consider overturning a loved one's wishes if he/she wished to donate his/her body to an HTF.

 
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I would consider overturning a loved one's wishes if he/she wished to have another form of alternative burial e.g. eco-friendly burial, cryonics, plastination etc.

 
I would prefer that my loved one donated his/her body to an anatomy school rather than to an HTF.

 
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I would prefer that my loved one donated his/her body to an HTF rather than to an anatomy school.

 
Reasons (Select all that apply)


 
I would be comfortable knowing that the body of my loved one was being retained for educational and training purposes†.

†Assuming that the donor gave informed consent for this activity.
 
I would be willing to attend a communal memorial service for my loved one after his/her body has been donated to the HTF.

 
Management of an HTF.

To what extent do you agree with the following statements?

 
I would want to be assured that the HTF was being regularly inspected and meeting appropriate standards of the Human Tissue Authority.

 
I would want to be assured that the HTF was not having a negative impact on the environment.

 
I would want to see an annual report being produced by the HTF to keep the public aware of the work the HTF is conducting.

 
I would want the HTF’s website to include the site’s mission statement, vision, Human Tissue Authority protocols, background, and contact details.

 
Reasons for supporting the establishment of an HTF in the UK.

To what extent do you agree with the following statements?

 
The research conducted at an HTF helps solve crimes and identify victims of crime or disaster.

 
It is important that we understand human decomposition in UK surroundings.

 
Without an HTF in the UK, the discipline of Forensic Science is at risk of falling behind that in the USA and Australia.

 
Police, military and other groups would benefit from training at an HTF in the UK.

 
Dogs able to detect human remains should be trained and assessed at an HTF in the UK.

 
Forensic Science students and researchers would benefit from access to skeletal collections from donations to an HTF.

 
The UK would benefit scientifically, politically and financially from having an HTF.

 
Reasons for objecting to the establishment of an HTF in the UK.

To what extent do you agree with the following statements?

 
I would feel uncomfortable if the UK HTF was referred to as a 'body farm'.

 
An HTF would be disrespectful to the deceased.

 
I would object to the development of an HTF for religious reasons.

 
An HTF would ruin the view/landscape it was situated in.

 
I would object to an HTF as it is a new and unfamiliar science to the UK.

 
I feel the money could be put to better use.

 
If you have any other reason to object that isn't listed above then please specify.

 
Local area around an HTF
To what extent would you be concerned about the following possible effects of an HTF being built in your local area?

 
The possibility of reduced house prices.

 
The possibility of increased investment in the local area.

 
The possibility of animal scavengers being attracted to the area.

 
The possibility of damage to the ecology/environment.

 
The possibility of increased traffic to the area.

 
The possibility of an occasional unpleasant smell.

 
The possibility of being able to see potentially upsetting scenes at the HTF.

 
The possibility of increased job opportunities in the local area.

 
The possibility of increased tourism.

 
The possibility of media attention.

 
The possibility of increased attention from the scientific community.

 
The possibility of increased police and security presence in the area.

 
The possibility of scaring away new people and businesses.

 
The possibility of being interviewed for TV.

 
Please put any other reasons that you might be concerned about/oppose an HTF being built in your local area.

 
Summary

To what extent do you agree with the following statements?

 
To what extent do you support of a Human Taphonomy Facility in the UK?

 
To what extent do you support of a Human Taphonomy Facility in Europe?

 
Would you be happy for your comments to appear as anonymous testimonial/support for the creation of an HTF in the UK?

     
 
Would you be happy  for your comments to appear as anonymous opposition against the creation of a HTF in the UK?

     
 
Please put any other comment(s) here that you think are relevant.

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