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Public Act 91-0771
HB3254 Enrolled LRB9111265EGfg
AN ACT in relation to alternatives to dissection.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
Dissection Alternatives Act.
Section 5. Findings and purpose.
(a) The General Assembly finds and declares that the
appropriate use of dissection in research and education has
contributed a great deal to the advancement of medical and
biological science. Without dissection the science of
anatomy could not have advanced, and it is the bedrock
supporting the modern practice of surgery in its many forms.
The appropriate use of dissection has brought many benefits
to the people of this State, and it continues to play
important roles in medical and veterinary practice, research,
(b) The General Assembly also finds that the remarkable
progress of the last few decades has produced significant
advances in computing and the graphic and representational
arts, and that these developments have resulted in the
creation of many new technologies for teaching anatomy,
physiology, and other medical and biological sciences. In
certain circumstances these new technologies are capable of
providing an educational experience superior to dissection,
and they have often proven to be less expensive and more
(c) The General Assembly also finds that the use of
dissection, when inappropriate or poorly supervised, can
result in the inhumane treatment and unnecessary suffering of
animals. The inappropriate or careless use of dissection in
schools has also in some instances traumatized students and
contributed to a failure to teach proper respect for life and
(d) It is the purpose of this Act to encourage schools
in this State to make available and use alternatives to
dissection when those alternatives are appropriate and can
provide an educational experience that is equal or superior
to the traditional use of dissection. It is not in any way
the intention of this Act to discourage the appropriate use
of dissection in research or when it provides a valuable
educational experience to students.
Section 10. Definitions. For the purposes of this Act,
unless the context otherwise requires:
"Student" means a pupil at a public or private elementary
or secondary school in Illinois.
"Teacher" means a person who is teaching at a public or
private elementary or secondary school in Illinois,
regardless of whether that teaching is on a full-time or
part-time, temporary or permanent, or regular or substitute
"Dissection" includes cutting, killing, preserving, or
mounting of living or dead animals or animal parts for
scientific study; but does not include the cutting,
preserving, or mounting of (1) meat or other animal products
that have been processed for use as food or in the
preparation of food or (2) wool, silk, glue, or other
commercial or artistic products derived from animals.
Section 15. Alternative student projects. A school may
excuse a student enrolled in a course in which students are
ordinarily expected to perform, participate in, or observe
dissection who objects for any reason to performing,
participating in, or observing that dissection and instead
allow the student to complete an alternative project. The
alternative project should be nonpunitive and should be
reasonably chosen to provide the student, through means other
than dissection, with knowledge similar to that expected to
be gained by other students in the course who perform,
participate in, or observe the dissection. The alternative
project should be consistent with any guidelines for
alternative projects that have been adopted by the State
Board of Education.
Section 20. Guidelines for notification of students and
(a) The State Board of Education shall develop and make
available guidelines that may be used by the public
elementary and secondary schools within this State to give
appropriate notice of the following to students and their
parents or legal guardians:
(1) Which, if any, of the courses taught at the
school ordinarily require or allow the student to
perform, participate in, or observe dissection.
(2) Whether or not the school makes available to
students the opportunity to complete an alternative
(b) When offering high school students an opportunity to
choose between dissection or an alternative project, teachers
should encourage the students to take into consideration the
expectations and requirements of the colleges and graduate
programs that they may be interested in attending.
Section 25. Discrimination prohibited. A student may
not be penalized or discriminated against in any way for
refusing to perform, participate in, or observe dissection.
Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law and first applies to the 2000-2001 school year.
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