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Jan 9, 2011

THE SUM OF OUR PARTS

Have you ever heard of the exhibits showing the human body peeled down to its basic components? The ones where the skin is removed showing the sinew, the tissue, the muscles, the nervous system. 
I have never seen them in person though they have visited our area. 
In Manitoba a human rights lawyer has requested the courts seize the exhibition to stop it from leaving until the provenance can be proven. He feels the bodies may be those of political prisoners from China and that they were not obtained with consent. 
The exhibit was already banned from Seattle because of the concerns over how these bodies were obtained.
What do you think? Would you go and see an exhibit like this one? I find it fascinating and very educational but the thought that the bodies were not obtained with consent opens up such a huge can of worms. It would seem to me that this would open up the market of bodies from illegal sources.  

15 comments:

Blondie's Journal said...

I did see the exhibit here in Chicago about 5 years ago. It was incredibly interesting if not a little gruesome...definitely educational. I was of the understanding that the bodies were donated with consent...this is news to me.

XO,
Jane

Ali said...

I don't know about the objections, the anatomist who started Body World, Gunther von Hagensm always claimed the bodies were donated by the dead person by signed consent.

I've seen film and tv footage of it and I think it's amazing. The techniques used to dissect and display the various systems are really something.

And according to this article, he's going to be become one of the exhibits soon. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/breaking-news/terminally-ill-german-anatomist-gunther-von-hagens-dr-death-to-be-on-show/story-e6freuyi-1225982639971

Joanne said...

For me personally I can't even watch the commercials. Just the thought that some of these bodies were given unwillingly horrifies me. Does Gunther pay for the bodies? Maybe he might believe that these bodies were donated but "gosh" maybe someone lied. I know that there could be a tiny skeleton out at UBC that was once my granny. She donated her body to science but we believe her motive was that they might actually find something wrong with her (she made herself an invalid - long story) and she could from the grave (or lab) say AH HA!!!

Heather Rojo said...

Given the record China has for civil rights, I can see that this is a very questionable exhibition. Until the people in China have a bit more freedom, and the government is upfront and transparent with their practices, I will pass on this exhibit. It is also a bit too gruesome for my stomach! Yes, I'm a wimp.

Journey said...

I have seen two of these exhibits and we are going to see another one tomorrow. I found them to be extremely interesting. The consent issue is a totally different conversation.

Paige said...

I saw it in Houston a few years ago. It was interesting.

I had not heard there were consent issues. That would certainly be alarming

Keetha Broyles said...

I took my high school anatomy students to see it in Indianapolis two years ago. It was fabulous.

I didn't know this controversy about it existed, but I can tell you I would give consent for my body to be used in this fascinating and educational way.

Eleonora said...

Is this the same artists that actually displayed lamb sliced in two, owhich inspired the scene in the film The Cell in which a horse is split into sections by falling glass panels? I think the name is Damien Hirst...
A bit disturbing

Lynn said...

We went to see it when it was at Turtle Bay here. It was pretty amazing.
I guess I have no sensibilities because I'm thinking they were dead and didn't need their bodies any more anyway. No biggie to me.

One teacher wrote a letter to the paper who wanted the tallywackers and such covered because she took students to see the exhibit and got embarrassed over the EXPOSED BODY PARTS. DUH.
That is what the exhibit WAS, was it not?

I love letters to the editors. Should be on the comic page.

Sandra said...

Wow, this exhibit has been in Phoenix...I did not see it but I think it should be stopped if people are making a profit from something illegal...especially using human bodies!

Beverly @ The Buzz said...

This was in Nashville last year and all I could think was 'ewww'. No thanks. While the body is beautiful, this doesn't appeal at all.

Karen said...

We saw the exhibit the first time it came to Vancouver, and found it really interesting. If I recall, there were consent forms there, or was it on their website?, can't remember, but I know I saw them, for donating your body. Okay, just checked the website, there is loads of information there.
The first time in Vancouver, there was a lot of controversy about teachers taking students there on field trips, and I think the Abbotsford school board banned any field trips from here. Totally wrong decision in my opinion. What better way to get those teenage smokers to quit smoking than to let them see those blackened lungs... Considering how many people don't like the idea of the whole exhibit, it doesn't surprise me that someone is questioning the acquisition of the bodies.
A very educational exhibit in my opinion.

MiMi said...

Wait a sec...who did that exhibit? I mean the guy how put it together...I think it was here a year ago or so.

Vicki said...

The exhibit has been here in Albuquerque twice, but I would not go and see it. I don't consider myself squimish, but I think it has to do with moral objections. I do believe that these bodies from China were not obtained by permission. They are young people. I find their posed positions to be incongruent with the dignity of their lives and their deaths. I am uncomfortable with the "for-profit" use these bodies have been used for. I would not feel the same for those deceased who have "willed" their body to medical schools and scientific research.

A rootdigger said...

Interesting post. popped up while googling.

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