Channel 4 has been accused by TV watchdogs of showing a "lack of respect for human dignity".
Beijing Swings prompted a flood of complaints
The broadcaster was criticised for a programme which featured a Chinese artist apparently eating a stillborn baby.
The Independent Television Commission ruled that Channel 4 had "exceeded the boundaries of acceptability" with the broadcast of Beijing Swings in January.
Channel 4 had defended the programme, arguing that it had "a right and obligation under its remit to explore and examine challenging and difficult subjects".
The ITC also ruled against Channel 4 comic Graham Norton for a tasteless joke he made on his chat show following the death of Bee Gee Maurice Gibb in January.
The joke was offensive to public
feeling, and to Mr Gibb's family
Thirty-two people had complained that Norton's comment the day after Gibb's death was offensive and in poor taste.
Forty-two people had complained about the China documentary, which included a still photograph of artist Zhu Yu's work Eating People.
In it he appeared to cannibalise the body of a dead baby.
In its ruling, the ITC said: "The broadcast of such images raises serious questions, not only about the
morality of the artists in using dead babies in pursuit of their artistic
expression, but of the broadcasters' responsibility not to infringe their
Viewers were also upset by images of performance artists Peng Yu and Sun Yuan smearing their blood over the
dead bodies of a pair of Siamese twins.
Channel 4 had claimed Norton was being "affectionate"
The ITC concluded that the programme had breached its code on taste and
Channel 4, while acknowledging that the images were "deeply shocking and disturbing", had said they were "serious and significant works".
The ITC also upheld the complaints against presenter Norton over his joke about Gibb's death.
The day after Gibb's death had been announced, Norton said: "I bet Maurice
Gibb's heart monitor was singing the tune of Stayin' Alive."
The ITC said the comment was "offensive to public
feeling, and to Mr Gibb's family, for such a joke to be made in such close
proximity to his death".
Maurice's brother Robin had described Norton as "scum", although Channel 4 said the joke was meant as an "affectionate reference" to Gibb.