Jump to content

Menu

Did anyone watch the 20/20 segment on BODIES THE EXHIBIT last night?


Recommended Posts

This segment was of particular interest to me since the exhibit is currently at our science museum and I was planning to take the older kids.

 

I have no problem with the fact that these bodies are on display, as long as the individual knowingly donated themselves to science.

 

But the fact that the CEO of this particular bodies exhibit could not without a doubt guarantee where these bodies came from and the fact that they are all from China was particularly disturbing to me. What if these are executed political prisoners? and they are now on display if our country. Even the idea that they are unclaimed bodies from a medical center is disheartening...after all that's someone's son we're gawking at. It's kind of sickening, really.

 

Just food for thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did not see the 20/20 segment but I did see a Body Works II exhibit when it came to the Museum of Science and Industry. It was fascinating! They had places for you to donate your body and I thought that they mentioned that all the bodies had been donated. Hmmmm It would be interesting to know for sure.

 

On one hand it is disturbing that they didn't know where the bodies came from so you don't know if the families are left hanging - not knowing what happened to their loved ones. This of course is a worse case senario. Actually this thought is very disturbing.

 

If it isn't the worse case senerio, my thought is that once you are dead you don't need the body any longer so if it helps someone else.... I sure do hope that the bodies weren't donated against their wishes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with you.... It is concerning. I am conflicted about this, b/c how can you ever know if someone truely gave consent once they are gone? I think it's easy to minimize it b/c we see so much gore - bodies and all - on TV and in movies. But those are not REAL - still, we become desensitized to it. But those in the museum, those are real human being, who lived a life - who were born, had families, had mothers, loved ones. Ugh, a serious dilemma....

 

I guess I think there needs to be some type of video document or SOMETHING when the person was alive, showing their permission. I am very uncomfortable with this, without something concrete. HOWEVER, I can see how this could be a true learning tool, if used properly and respectfully.

 

I don't know.... It's Sat. morning and I need another cup of COFFEE before I think too deeply - yikes! ;-)

 

- Stacey in MA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did not catch 20/20 last night, but here are my thoughts:

 

I had initally planned on taking my kids to the exhibit in Milwaukee. Thus, I had started a science unit on the human body in Jan.

 

One of the priests at our parish asked people to seriously reflect before attending the exhibit and offered some points to consider. In my opinion, if the exhibit was purely for science and learning, I would have no problem attending. However, several parts of the exhibit seem to cross the line between science and art, thus raising the question "Can the human body be objectified and used as a tool? Or is it always representative/part of the person and therefore must be treated with respect and never objectified?"

 

IMO, the human body must always be treated with respect and thus cannot be utilized as an object.

 

The possibility that some of the bodies were possibly from tortured prisoners simply confirms, for me, that the exhibit should not be attended. Dr. Gunther von Hagens' responses to these accusations also lead me to believe that he doesn't really care where he obtains the bodies. He initially claimed to have informed consent from each individual and there was no way that any were prisoners. Now, he admits that some were likely tortured prisoners and he destroyed those bodies. What about those that didn't sustain lasting scars? That just raises questions in my mind. If it was truly a concern for him, he would have investigated fully before accepting any bodies.

 

So, I won't be going, but I am disappointed not to be.

 

Ellen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my son and i saw the Body Works exhibition in atlanta last year. in terms of treating the human body with the utmost respect, the exhibit absolutely accomplished that for me. i left in profound wonder and awe of the magnificence of life.

 

that being said, a week or so after we saw the exhibit i heard about the concerns around the origin of the bodies. this was deeply disturbing to me and did taint an otherwise incredible experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did not catch 20/20 last night, but here are my thoughts: [parts snipped out]

 

One of the priests at our parish asked people to seriously reflect before attending the exhibit and offered some points to consider. In my opinion, if the exhibit was purely for science and learning, I would have no problem attending. However, several parts of the exhibit seem to cross the line between science and art, thus raising the question "Can the human body be objectified and used as a tool? Or is it always representative/part of the person and therefore must be treated with respect and never objectified?"

 

Dr. Gunther von Hagens' responses to these accusations also lead me to believe that he doesn't really care where he obtains the bodies. He initially claimed to have informed consent from each individual and there was no way that any were prisoners. Now, he admits that some were likely tortured prisoners and he destroyed those bodies. What about those that didn't sustain lasting scars? That just raises questions in my mind. If it was truly a concern for him, he would have investigated fully before accepting any bodies.

 

 

 

Was the 20/20 show about BodyWorlds or Bodies... The Exhibition? (or both?) There are two organizations touring with these displays now. I've been to a couple BodyWorlds exhibits, and I don't remember any bodies displayed that had Asian features (like the body pictured on the 20/20 website.)

 

Gunther von Hagen is the person who invented the preservation process, and he runs BodyWorlds. This exhibit is very artistic. I think science and art are related, I loved the exhibit. One article I saw said he will no longer us any bodies from China, even ones with proper paperwork, because he can't be sure about them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My whole family also went to the Atl exhibit; it was amazing. I did hear the rumors about where the bodies were coming from, and I had mixed feelings. In the future, I would try to see the German fellows exhibits (if made available) and skip the Bodies exhibit till they could clean house and know for sure all the corpses used were donated by the individuals by choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

However, several parts of the exhibit seem to cross the line between science and art, thus raising the question "Can the human body be objectified and used as a tool? Or is it always representative/part of the person and therefore must be treated with respect and never objectified?"

 

Having seen Body Works II, I believe that von Hagen objectifies his subjects, seeing them more as media than former people. What began as a fascinating look inside the body slowly turned into a creepy art spectacle, IMO. I was particularly struck by the poses of the female bodies which seemed to be displayed in more oddly compromising positions (bent over, cloven lengthwise) than the male specimens. :eek: It made me squeamish and I'm not naturally so.

 

The further I got into the exhibit, the more artsy the displays became. I sensed less wonder and more shocking design sense as I went on. 'Twas very disappointing to me.

 

That said, I do believe that something good can be done to instruct the average person about the wonder of the human body and its components, even using (intentionally) donated bodies; however, Body Worlds II seemed more about clever and profitable artistry in flesh than a sincere desire to educate and cultivate appreciation of man's form.

 

JMHO...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, as is usual, I'll be the lone wolf--I do not find them objectifying one bit, I do not care that they were unclaimed bodies (how else is medical science going to learn if there are no bodies?), and quite frankly, if they were prisoners, that works for me.

 

I'm sorry you all got attached to the bodies like that. Those people are dead. Once you are dead, you are nothing but bug food. And honestly, I'd rather not be bug food so my body is going on display(already got the papers filled out, just haven't sent them in).

 

I'm also sorry that you find it disheartening that the bodies that were used were unclaimed and then chose to say "that's someone's son".. my feeling--if that was truly somone's son and was so important to them, why'd the body go unclaimed?

 

It's both an artistic look and a medical look at the human body. Nothing in either of the exhibits(Gunther's and the generic one) should make one feel sad, disheartened, dismayed, or questioning of where the bodies came from. They are dead and gone and if they were so important to someone in life, they wouldn't be on display, now would they?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Was the 20/20 show about BodyWorlds or Bodies... The Exhibition? (or both?) There are two organizations touring with these displays now. I've been to a couple BodyWorlds exhibits, and I don't remember any bodies displayed that had Asian features (like the body pictured on the 20/20 website.)

 

Gunther von Hagen is the person who invented the preservation process, and he runs BodyWorlds. This exhibit is very artistic. I think science and art are related, I loved the exhibit. One article I saw said he will no longer us any bodies from China, even ones with proper paperwork, because he can't be sure about them.

 

who will only accept bodies from which he absolutely know the origin. The CEO of Bodies (whose name I don't know) would not make such guarantees and was hedgy at best when answering some poignant questions about the origin of these bodies.

 

I guess I'm even more leary about their origin due to the fact that all the Bodies corpses are from China (oh and to see the warehouse where they are plasticized is just appaling). Let's face it, China is not known for her regulation of industry, and the blackmarket of bodies in that country is well documented.

 

I'm disappointed as I was really looking forward to attending this exhibit especially on the heels of our human body unit. But now....I'd just find it too sad. It's the "not knowing" that bothers me the most.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, as is usual, I'll be the lone wolf--I do not find them objectifying one bit, I do not care that they were unclaimed bodies (how else is medical science going to learn if there are no bodies?), and quite frankly, if they were prisoners, that works for me.

 

I'm sorry you all got attached to the bodies like that. Those people are dead. Once you are dead, you are nothing but bug food. And honestly, I'd rather not be bug food so my body is going on display(already got the papers filled out, just haven't sent them in).

 

I'm also sorry that you find it disheartening that the bodies that were used were unclaimed and then chose to say "that's someone's son".. my feeling--if that was truly somone's son and was so important to them, why'd the body go unclaimed?

 

It's both an artistic look and a medical look at the human body. Nothing in either of the exhibits(Gunther's and the generic one) should make one feel sad, disheartened, dismayed, or questioning of where the bodies came from. They are dead and gone and if they were so important to someone in life, they wouldn't be on display, now would they?

 

 

I don't know why the bodies went unclaimd, but I do know that in China political and religious dissenters disappear in the dead of night and families have no knowledge of their whereabouts. They may end up in prisons, working camps, or dead. If they are killed, do you really think the government will contact their families to come claim them? No, they call people who operate on the corpse black market to come and collect the bodies for a small fee.

 

You say nothing should make anyone feel a certain way. It's rather audacious of you to tell anyone how they *should* feel. If something of this nature makes one uncomfortable, your invalidation of their feelings will do nothing to convert that. In fact in this case, as I read your post, I feel even more strongly about my first persuasion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the unclaimed bodies aspect doesn't disturb me. unfortunately, thousands of corpses are unclaimed in this country; i have no problem with them being used for scientific purposes of which i would include the tasteful bodies exhibits.

 

what does trouble me is if some of the bodies were from political dissidents that were simply 'disappeared' by the Chinese (or any other country's) government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not defending China, but in the end, it isn't my job to "worry" about these bodies. I would prefer to see Von Hagen's version as his is the first and all others are copied off of him; however, barring that, I will take my children to see these exhibits repeatedly because I simply cannot worry about where these bodies came from and neither should you or anyone else.

 

They are dead, plain and simply put. I can do nothing for them now except teach my kids off of them. But then again, my opinions on what to do with executed prisoners bodies is the same: put them on display, make good use out of them.

 

I just don't get why they "where" makes you sad or should even make you worry? Why would you deny your kids this experience just because of the "where"? Like I said, I've no concern for how China handles her peoples, I can't spend my life worrying about how each individual country does so. Does it make me sad that they dump newborn baby girls? Yes, but I can't worry about it because I can't change it. And quite frankly, if they want to "dump" themselves into extinction, so be it. I'm not going to stop them because I can't, just like I wouldn't stop England from instituting public executions (again) or the like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

what does trouble me is if some of the bodies were from political dissidents that were simply 'disappeared' by the Chinese (or any other country's) government.

 

How can one prove this though? Again, I am not defending the generic Bodies Exhibit owner, I've seen his and would have preferred to see Hagen's. However, how can one actually prove these were political dissidents and the like?

 

Maybe the owner could and he just doesn't want to, but WE cannot. If he was going around robbing graves of fresh bodies, I might have a problem with that. But if he calls up China one day and says "I need some bodies" and they give them to him, well--how are we supposed to know or even really care where they came from?

 

Should he be on the level? Of course, I'm not calling for him to work "under the table" so to speak. If he's got nothing to hide, why worry.. however, as far as has been shown, he's not doing anything illegal and because of that, we shouldn't really worry about the "why" or the "who" of the bodies. Just go and enjoy it (if you can ignore the stench).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not defending China, but in the end, it isn't my job to "worry" about these bodies.

...

I just don't get why they "where" makes you sad or should even make you worry? Why would you deny your kids this experience just because of the "where"? Like I said, I've no concern for how China handles her peoples, I can't spend my life worrying about how each individual country does so. Does it make me sad that they dump newborn baby girls? Yes, but I can't worry about it because I can't change it. And quite frankly, if they want to "dump" themselves into extinction, so be it. I'm not going to stop them because I can't, just like I wouldn't stop England from instituting public executions (again) or the like.

 

it may not be your job, but i do consider it my personal responsibility to do as much as i can not to contribute to profit being made from human rights abuses. that is what one is doing if these bodies are executed dissidents and you pay money to enter the exhibit. but then, i'm just weird that way, i suppose...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont know if theses bodies are Chinese political prisoners or not. If so, then that probably translates into Chinese Christians who make up most of the political prisoners in that country. That would be reprehensible for a country founded on Judeo-Christian values (the USA) to display the remains of martyrs.

 

It is odd that no one finds it disturbing to see the remains of people flayed open on display for visitors to pay to stare at. Where is the sanctity of life? Where is the respect for the deceased? Would this display have been tolerated in our country 20 years ago? I personally dont think so.

 

What if this was a display of puppies presented in the same fashion. Cute little golden retrievers cut up and/or open for scientific display. Would PETA and other humane type groups protest and be outraged?? Yet, I am not seeing any reaction to this event locally.

 

What does this display say about the condition or our society? Of its progression? Something interesting to ponder. . . . .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

it may not be your job, but i do consider it my personal responsibility to do as much as i can not to contribute to profit being made from human rights abuses. that is what one is doing if these bodies are executed dissidents and you pay money to enter the exhibit. but then, i'm just weird that way, i suppose...

What exactly are "political prisoners" or "executed dissidents"?

 

Are these people similar to Martin Luther King Jr, where if he where in China, his words would cause him to be executed, secretly by the government (which, in all honesty, is what I think happened, just the same as JFK, but another argument for another time) or are these people who worked undergrounds of some sort, trying to rally supporters for their cause? What exactly was their "crime" which caused them to be executed?

 

See, I'd be against putting MLK or even JFK on display. They were murdered flat out, government involvement or not. But for any other place, I just can't get worked up over their issues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In order:

 

I dont know if theses bodies are Chinese political prisoners or not. If so, then that probably translates into Chinese Christians who make up most of the political prisoners in that country. That would be reprehensible for a country founded on Judeo-Christian values (the USA) to display the remains of martyrs.

 

 

A matter of belief vs non-belief and a non-issue for most.

 

It is odd that no one finds it disturbing to see the remains of people flayed open on display for visitors to pay to stare at. Where is the sanctity of life? Where is the respect for the deceased? Would this display have been tolerated in our country 20 years ago? I personally dont think so.

 

 

A matter of belief vs non-belief. This sort of thing has been occurring well beyond 20 years ago, how do you think medical doctors learn? They go to morgues and work on unclaimed bodies, over and over until ever inch of that body is as used up as it could possibly be. So yes, it would have been tolerated 20 years ago, it's just now coming to the forefront because it is highly educational and there is no reason why should be forced to always learn from books.

 

What if this was a display of puppies presented in the same fashion. Cute little golden retrievers cut up and/or open for scientific display. Would PETA and other humane type groups protest and be outraged?? Yet, I am not seeing any reaction to this event locally.

 

 

It's called taxidermy and PETA can stuff a sock in it for all I care. Von Hagen's, in fact, DOES have animals on display and I call "kudos" to him because the human AND animal body is fascinating not revolting! I would love to see more animals on display. If you've got an overrun pet shelter and you know these animals are going to be put down, display them. If people can stuff their Fluffy and put them on display in their home, why not "flayed" out for all to see and LEARN from?

 

What does this display say about the condition or our society? Of its progression? Something interesting to ponder. . . . .

 

That we are a society that thirsts for knowledge and learning. That we will use our knowledge and learning to seek out other methods of knowledge and learning and not hide it from the world. That we are not ashamed of our bodies and wish for all to learn from our past mistakes. That our progression of a society is moving forward, not backward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What exactly was their "crime" which caused them to be executed?

 

See, I'd be against putting MLK or even JFK on display.

 

well, then we're almost on the same page. i am thinking of prisoners who were incarcerated for speaking out against an oppressive regime or organizing for social change. i'm thinking Tiannamen Square type dissidents and political prisoners.

 

the exhibit itself is absolutely incredible. the dark cloud over the back story is disheartening.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of years ago I read an article regarding the origin of the bodies. It was an in-depth article from China trying to track down the source of the bodies. It was disturbing.

 

How could I go and admire the amazing human body when the potential for torture or execution was in that body's history? I can't make the leap of conscience. It's enough to keep me away.

 

Jo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The further I got into the exhibit, the more artsy the displays became. I sensed less wonder and more shocking design sense as I went on.

 

That's interesting.

 

We saw von Hagen's Body Worlds exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science last year. DH even took the day off work to come along with us.

 

I didn't have that reaction at all. In fact, I was impressed by the artful way in which he was able to present different aspects of the body all the way through the exhibit. One display would feature a specific organ system, then another view in cross-section, etc. And toward the end of the exhibit, where he had the "drawers", it was amazing to me to see how all these complex systems fit *so* compactly. I was glad to see how the organs related to each other in space, even though they may have been from different systems. I don't know if I'm explaining myself well, but I held my sense of awe to the very end of the exhibit.

 

I'm sorry your experience was so different than mine. :)

 

 

Where is the sanctity of life? Where is the respect for the deceased?

 

What if this was a display of puppies presented in the same fashion.

 

Um, yeah. These are *dead* human bodies, not live ones. And they were *donated* by people who had to apply to have their bodies used after their deaths. What about respect for the deceased's wishes? If they want to donate their body to an art/anatomy exhibit, isn't that their prerogative. Just as it's yours to not patronize such an exhibit. IMO, that's what's great about America!

 

Puppies could not decide to donate their bodies, so I don't see how that is remotely related.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't have that reaction at all. In fact, I was impressed by the artful way in which he was able to present different aspects of the body all the way through the exhibit. One display would feature a specific organ system, then another view in cross-section, etc. And toward the end of the exhibit, where he had the "drawers", it was amazing to me to see how all these complex systems fit *so* compactly. I was glad to see how the organs related to each other in space, even though they may have been from different systems. I don't know if I'm explaining myself well, but I held my sense of awe to the very end of the exhibit.

 

The "slices" were the coolest part because of the very thing you speak of--you got to see how it all related, correlated, and fit together. :) I found even the generic version of this tastefully done in the same manner you described. If one chose the audio tour, you got to hear much about the person you were seeing in front of you, so it had that "human" life to it.

 

Um, yeah. These are *dead* human bodies, not live ones. And they were *donated* by people who had to apply to have their bodies used after their deaths. What about respect for the deceased's wishes? If they want to donate their body to an art/anatomy exhibit, isn't that their prerogative. Just as it's yours to not patronize such an exhibit.

 

My point exactly. They are dead and while I respect the dead (as in, their wish to die as they want), there is nothing unsanctifying about these exhibits. A high amount of respect was paid to each person as I learned not only about what I was seeing, but about the person themselves, as well.

 

And while I disagree with the "animals can't speak for themselves" part--I do agree with you that the two are not even remotely related.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder how our western culture/beliefs effects how we react to these exhibits. Many in the East see the body as just a vessel, when the soul leaves the body, its job is done, left to be burned or even tossed out for the birds and bugs to turn it back into earth. I'm thinking of the Tibetan view. We in the West are very possessive of the body, even after death, putting make-up on and such.

 

I know my mother wants her body donated for science. I only hope I will be strong enough to follow those wishes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's interesting.

 

Um, yeah. These are *dead* human bodies, not live ones. And they were *donated* by people who had to apply to have their bodies used after their deaths. What about respect for the deceased's wishes? If they want to donate their body to an art/anatomy exhibit, isn't that their prerogative. Just as it's yours to not patronize such an exhibit. IMO, that's what's great about America!

 

Puppies could not decide to donate their bodies, so I don't see how that is remotely related.

 

I don't think anyone is disputing the exhibit as long as the bodies came from consenting donors. The point in question is whether or not these corpses did in fact come from consenting donors. There is a lot inconclusive evidence about the validity of these so-called "donors". And I believe that's where a lot of people, at least myself, take issue with the exhibit.

 

-Amy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, I dispute the entire premise behind the exhibit. I think it is horrible. I would never go. Just my 2 cents. I just think it is so morbid to actually go and observe human corpses. I can't get over it. But that is just ME.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, I dispute the entire premise behind the exhibit. I think it is horrible. I would never go. Just my 2 cents. I just think it is so morbid to actually go and observe human corpses. I can't get over it. But that is just ME.

 

It was presumptuous of me to assume that everyone on this board felt that there was no ethical issue with the exhibit; only the origin of the corpses. I shouldn't have stated that in my previous post.

 

I can understand why someone would be totally appalled at the entire concept. It doesn't bother me in "that" way, but I am bothered by not knowing from where the corpses come...really bothered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would place myself in a similar camp with Ellen, Holly and Daisy and am uncomfortable with the exhibit in general. Certainly even more so if the corpses are those of men and women who's lives were taken from them unjustly. But as a Christian who very much believes in the reality of the resurrection, first Christ's and someday our own, I'm uncomfortable with a body, even if temporarily separated from the soul, being treated as a mere container. I have no doubt that God can recreate our resurrected bodies from nothing, but the Judeo-Christian tradition has always treated the body after death with honor in burial.

 

Jami

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In fact, I was impressed by the artful way in which he was able to present different aspects of the body all the way through the exhibit...I'm sorry your experience was so different than mine.

 

Oh, no worries there. :) I definitely wanted to enjoy it, particularly for the cost of admission. LOL And I did enjoy seeing the individual parts, both healthy and diseased, as well as understanding the amount of skin, the length of the digestive tract, etc. There were one or two full-figure specimens that were clearly educational. I know the premise of the thing is educational; it just sat wrong with me.

 

When I said "artsy," I meant the dioramas of skinless dudes playfully passing cards at the poker table...the cloven female placed on her back with leg in the air. :eek: These seemed to be art for art's sake, really. They said nothing more to me than, "Look what I can do with cadavers! Does this not amuse you?"

 

The ultimate example for me was the final display in the collection entitled "The Wizard," that consisted of an exploded specimen, suspended in the air atop a broom, with tendons and muscle fibers extending like rays below a somewhat scary-faced skull (wearing glasses to create a bit of levity). :rolleyes:

 

While I understand that many thousands of people enjoyed this exhibit, it just left me with a creepy feeling for the reasons I've described. I really wanted to like it--I just couldn't. We definitely agree on the point that bodies from an unknown or questionable origin, displayed in this way, are unacceptable. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who has been imprisoned?

 

Tibetans have been imprisoned & killed for printing leaflets, raising the Tibetan flag, participating in demonstrations, being a monk, etc. China is trying to suppress opposition to their occupation.

 

The situation in China is getting significantly worse as they prepare for the Olympics. Poets and political essayists, human rights protestors, famers protesting the confiscation of their lands, people signing petitions in support of human rights, posters on the internet have all been interred.

 

I am curious why it matters to you what the people did/who they are. Is it okay for a government to kill some of its people? How do we determine which ones?

 

Anyway, the point is that these exhibits could easily be done with bodies that are documented. So why not ensure that they are?

 

As for personal responsibility, I am sure you are familiar with the famous quote by Niemoller (which I disagree with the philosophy of, btw):

 

"When they came for the communists, I was silent, because I was not a communist; When they came for the socialists, I was silent, because I was not a socialist; When they came for the trade unionists, I did not protest, because I was not a trade unionist;

When they came for the Jews, I did not protest, because I was not a Jew; When they came for me, there was no one left to protest on my behalf."

 

 

As for whether or not the body should be treated with respect, that is simply a matter of "world-view". If you believe humans are made in the image and likeness of God and will be resurrected on the last day, then you will believe the body should be treated with respect. If you don't, the odds are that you see the body as a tool to be used for whatever ends you see fit.

 

Anyhoo, the above post is meant simply to answer a question and ask a question. Not flame, although I tend to be blunt.:)

 

Ellen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am curious why it matters to you what the people did/who they are. Is it okay for a government to kill some of its people? How do we determine which ones?
I was wondering this as well.

 

I saw Body Worlds 2 twice (once alone, once with my eldest). I wasn't disturbed by the poses, though I did find them distracting. However, for some reason, I was very disturbed by the pert breasts on all the female bodies and the apparent lack of age of the subjects. How old were these bodies "supposed" to be? Our bodies change as we age -- sag, bend, stretch, gain weight, and occasionally deform. Any hint of that was completely missing from the main displays. In addition, aside from some small display cases, there was a complete lack of pathology.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was wondering this as well.

 

I saw Body Worlds 2 twice (once alone, once with my eldest). I wasn't disturbed by the poses, though I did find them distracting. However, for some reason, I was very disturbed by the pert breasts on all the female bodies and the apparent lack of age of the subjects. How old were these bodies "supposed" to be? Our bodies change as we age -- sag, bend, stretch, gain weight, and occasionally deform. Any hint of that was completely missing from the main displays. In addition, aside from some small display cases, there was a complete lack of pathology.

 

As I recall, the lack of the appearance of age is because the subcutaneous fat is removed, as is the skin in most cases.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw Body Worlds 2 twice (once alone, once with my eldest). I wasn't disturbed by the poses, though I did find them distracting. However, for some reason, I was very disturbed by the pert breasts on all the female bodies and the apparent lack of age of the subjects. How old were these bodies "supposed" to be? Our bodies change as we age -- sag, bend, stretch, gain weight, and occasionally deform. Any hint of that was completely missing from the main displays. In addition, aside from some small display cases, there was a complete lack of pathology.

 

As I recall, the lack of the appearance of age is because the subcutaneous fat is removed, as is the skin in most cases.

 

In addition to what PiCO said, the gist of the exhibit is not aging, it's learning what's inside. Those "pert" breasts you speak of where not "pert" but rather had all the stuff that makes them sag, bend, etc... removed. The whole entire thing is not meant to show us as we age, but rather to show the effects of aging, internally, as we see what happens externally every day.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by a complete "lack of pathology" though. The display cases were only meant to show an individual organ for a specific reason: eg: the lungs from a smoker. In those cases, it was meant to put the focus directly on the problem--black, cancerous lungs from smoking. Or cancerous tissues in breasts, or bone cancer.. etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first one created the market and perpetuated the idea of using dead humans as art. (If it were for the sake of science it would be at a medical school somewhere being used, not only looked at.)

 

Now that it's done, other people want to do it and make money off of it too. (The exhibit with the deceased people from China of unknown origins.)

 

Using human bodies in such a manner, creates a MARKET for human bodies. This is the most disturbing point of all. The potential for body snatching and murdering is too great when human bodies are the product. This is horrific, IMHO.

 

Kimberly

(I have a problem looking at any of them. In fact I couldn't watch all of 20/20 because of seeing them. I think it devalues the sanctity of life and takes the world to a darker place.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let me begin by saying that I'm talking solely about what I would have wanted to get out of the exhibit. I have no moral issue with the display of corpses in any which way, provided there was donor consent.

 

In addition to what PiCO said, the gist of the exhibit is not aging, it's learning what's inside.
I get that. However -- and this may be because I have already have a solid grounding in anatomy and physiology -- I was bothered by timeless nature of the presentation. It's not even an issue of preference -- I was just creeped out by the nature of the presentation of anatomy -- static physically (obviously), but also temporally.

 

Those "pert" breasts you speak of where not "pert" but rather had all the stuff that makes them sag, bend, etc... removed. The whole entire thing is not meant to show us as we age, but rather to show the effects of aging, internally, as we see what happens externally every day.
Unless all the female donors were younger women, the fatty tissue was molded to make the breasts pert. Since they were not lactating breasts, I didn't see any reason to have them included since so much other tissue had been removed. For me, this isn't an issue of prudishness (and how could it be given the subject matter of the exbibit), but I found it to be a curious choice.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by a complete "lack of pathology" though. The display cases were only meant to show an individual organ for a specific reason: eg: the lungs from a smoker. In those cases, it was meant to put the focus directly on the problem--black, cancerous lungs from smoking. Or cancerous tissues in breasts, or bone cancer.. etc.
I say did except the display cases. Personally I think it would have been interesting to see fat deposits around the internal organs of a diseased person, or to see an enlarged heart, etc. in the context of a body instead of being isolated in a case.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, we've already covered the sanctity of life bit-considering that's a faith view and they are dead.. but this:

 

Using human bodies in such a manner, creates a MARKET for human bodies. This is the most disturbing point of all. The potential for body snatching and murdering is too great when human bodies are the product. This is horrific, IMHO.

 

Is rather, ummm, interesting considering there is zero proof this has caused an increase on "bodies as a product" and body snatching/murdering rates overall, have remained the same or less than what they were prior to this Idea coming to light. There is no substantitive proof that this (body snatching/murder) has increased due to the Idea and there won't be because people donate their bodies to science every single day and since that is a legal and binding thing to do, claims of "increased body snatching" are erroneous at best.

 

If you don't want to run the risk of this happening to you upon death then write it in your will. Seriously--spell out exactly how you want your body used/not used. I assure you though, unless you specifically tell the funeral home that "momma wanted to be cremated" (or any other type wish), the only thing that will happen to you is that you become bug food and fertalizer for the funeral gardens.

 

Seriously, there is no market for human bodies. I will have to ask you to cite yourself in this one. If it is an opinion, I'd ask you to show me how something like this will create such a market, especially since one hasn't existed since the advent of modern medicine and especially since things of this nature are legal and allowable by law.

 

Lest anyone think I'm trying to get the last word or start something, honestly think about what I am saying here before you go tattling on me or flingin' neg. rep. If you are of the world view opinion that we are created in the image of God and that's why you don't like this, that's one thing and I won't begrudge you that feeling/belief. If the fact that they can't prove where the bodies came from is what bothers you about this, that's another thing I won't begrudge you believing in.

 

But please consider what you are saying when you make claims of body snatching/murder/ etc.. when you express dislike for this idea. This idea was born out of a desire to teach and educate people on the human body, internally.. the artistic side comes only second to that. Try to look at it from an educated point of view--haven't you always wondered exactly how things fit inside of you? Books just do not teach this, IMHO. They try, but they don't even begin to cover it all. This just brings all of that mystique to the forefront and shows you the answer to your question.

 

Is it kind of squicky? Yeah a bit. ;) But one can look past all of that to get to the crux of it all. The body is a most beautiful and wonderous thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well the incident with the bodies of unknown origin from China is in itself an example of a market for human bodies. What started as one exhibit has multiplied and like all human endeavors will continue to expand. Why didn't they get volunteers? They had to find a substitute for the lack of volunteers and evidently they did--with the prisoners.

 

I do not find it any stretch of the imagine that the persons preparing the bodies might have been faced with the situation they needed another female or another male for the exhibit. And as a result put in a call to the local prison for the date of the next execution or maybe even asked to move the execution dates up so they could have time to prepare the bodies for all of the American exhibits that have paying customers expecting to see "art."

 

The potential for corruption is limitless with human bodies as the market.

 

Just look at the markets that have been created for organ donations. People in other countries sell their kidneys in order to survive. So what do they do now, sell grandma or grandpa's body? And what if they need another body? Why not just whack 'em early, since they're already old and get the money?

 

Are these scenarios that hard to really imagine? I think not. It just isn't right.

 

(And I don't do rep points for anyone, I don't even know how. :) )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You make me laugh. I love your opinions and your attitude. But I don't think it's a big stretch at all. I think business is business. And whatever people do in regards to shipments and delivery with UPS packages they'll do with human bodies for display.

 

Now the whacking of the grandparents was a bit of a stretch; I'll grant you that one.

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You make me laugh. I love your opinions and your attitude. But I don't think it's a big stretch at all. I think business is business. And whatever people do in regards to shipments and delivery with UPS packages they'll do with human bodies for display.

 

Now the whacking of the grandparents was a bit of a stretch; I'll grant you that one.

:)

;) I agree that it is all business, which is why I said at the beginning that I really would love to support Von Hagen's exhibit rather than the generic exhibits that crop up, however since Von Hagen's is very selective with where he goes, I don't get chances to see him.

 

But when Von Hagens started this whole thing, he knew this would crop up---all of the dissention.. I'm not saying I disagree with the whole prior agreement thing, I do. I'm just saying that all of the worry and complaints based on things that are completely out of our control, are not enough of a reason for me to deny the educational value in something like this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...