London:Britain has long suffered from a shortage of medical professionals. But now the lack of dead bodies is affecting the training of new doctors.
According to the Department of Health, two courses had been cancelled this year because of a lack of cadavers and experts said more would be hit if the fall in body donations was not reversed.
In the last five years, the number of bodies being donated has fallen from 670 to 600 across England and Wales.
If this downward trend is not reversed medical students will soon not have the opportunity to learn their anatomy from the best 'text book' - the real human body."
Jeremy Metters, Her Majesty's inspector of anatomy, told the BBC: "We are in difficulties at the moment with a shortage of bodies. If nothing is done we will be in dire difficulties.
"I would like anybody who thinks that they would like to donate their body to medical research to contact their local medical school for information, or they can come to our website."
The British Medical Association said the declining number of bodies being donated was a problem, but a spokesperson pointed out that medical schools were increasingly able to use technology instead.