Skip to comments.Cadaver Exhibit: Who Said OK?
Posted on 01/26/2008 10:48:27 AM PST by JACKRUSSELL
(SACRAMENTO) -- Cars packed the parking lot of a shuttered CompUSA store one recent weekday afternoon as schoolchildren, health professionals and the just plain curious paid $24 apiece to stare at a score of plasticized, dissected human cadavers and roomfuls of preserved body parts.
The cadavers are displayed dramatically, with layers of skin and muscle peeled back to reveal internal organs, bones, blood vessels and nerves. The exhibition, with bodies posed as if playing a violin, swinging a golf club or performing other tasks, provoked plenty of hushed comments. "Where do they come from?" a young woman asked a guide dressed in a white lab coat.
"They're elderly Chinese men who donated their bodies," the docent said.
Now, California lawmakers are asking similar questions about the traveling exhibits of so-called plastinated bodies. On Thursday the state Assembly voted 50 to 4 to approve legislation to ensure that the people whose remains are on display consented to be gawked at by the public. The bill next goes to the Senate.
"Although plastination was intended to advance medicine and science, many entrepreneurs are using plastination to make outrageous profits by dissecting, mutilating and parading unwilled bodies around the world and in our state," the bill's sponsor, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), said during Assembly debate. "Asking for consent and verification is not too much to ask."
The two major anatomy exhibitors are divided on the legislation. Industry pioneer Body Worlds said it has no problem providing donor documentation. The other exhibitor, Premier Exhibitions Inc., which operates the Sacramento show, said it obtained all the remains legally from Chinese medical and scientific organizations but does not know the identities of the donors.
Ma, a Chinese American, said she became concerned about the use of Chinese remains after viewing a 2005 anatomy exhibition......
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Patrons examine "Ballet Dancer," one of the figures in a Body Worlds exhibition at the California Science Center in Los Angeles in 2005. (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
This figure called "The Teacher" was part of a controversial exhibition of human bodies preserved by the process called plastination, which was presented by Body Worlds at the California Science Center. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Vanessa Van Vleck of East Sacramento admires a display of the human circulatory system at a Sacramento exhibition presented by Premier Exhibitions Inc. Arnie Geller, the chairman of the Atlanta-based show producer, says he is confident he can convince the Legislature that the identities of the bodies in his shows are known to Chinese authorities. (Sacramento Bee)
“Bodies exhibit” ping.
school took kids to see this ( tenth grade). We were only parents in class of 60 who refused premission. Several students later expressed regret at having gone.
I’m wondering if the conservative wing of the republican party is on display there.
How did they get rid of everything but the blood vessels?
Did they have lead in them?
I wonder if they were political dissidents from mainland China.
A school took children to see this??
Our school system is truly run by freaks. Wierd freaks.
I was wondering why you declined? Not trying to be argumentative here—just curious. I’m not quite sure how I feel about this, but I sure am intrigued by this.
the entrepreneur from Body Worlds wears a black hat and shoulder lenth gray hair as he seeks publicity through local media— looks kind of like the crazy old preacher in Poltergeist. A University of Pennsylvania ethicist said the only ethical constraint on going to see the exhibit was a child’s not being mature enough to have due respect. He must not have seen the guy in the black hat before he commented.
I went to a similar exhibit in Chicago, which was originally produced in Germany. It was fascinating, respectful and highly educational. It wasn’t upsetting to the many people there, including many kids.
I took my kids to it. The smell is strange and it gets rather boring quickly. Med students get more out of it then the general population.
I explained to my kids that the people were from China and probably did not have a choice in the matter. Thats probably the most gruesome thing.
A book is a lot more interesting for the lay person as it includes labels.
Are they upset with “The Teacher” one because it only has half of a brain? LOL!
Actually, I’m rather morbid, and am fascinated by this, but I know it’s not right.
Vanessa Van Vleck seems gleeful at witnessing this macabre exhibit, between this and the myriad movies and video games, no wonder we have no hesitation in flushing a newborn into a toilet, dumping into the garbage can, alley or dump.
We as a society have lost respect for the value of life.
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