Dead to rights?

Here's a gutsy report from the New York Times:

Despite the objections of Florida's Anatomical Board, an exhibition of 20 cadavers and 260 body parts, stripped of their skin to show their muscles, organs and blood vessels, opened a scheduled six-month run at the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry yesterday, The Associated Press reported. Premier Exhibitions of Atlanta, the promoter of "Bodies, the Exhibition," said the state board, which supervises the use of cadavers in medical schools, had no jurisdiction over the museum. Similar exhibitions have attracted millions of viewers around the world despite the criticism of religious officials and medical ethicists. Premier said that the corpses were those of Chinese people whose bodies were unclaimed or unidentified before they were sent to Dalian Medical University in China, and that the university had certified that they had died of natural causes and had not been prisoners. The board, in voting 4 to 2 against the exhibition, took the position that neither the dead nor their families had given formal permission for their use in a museum. In a letter to the board, Brian Wainger, a lawyer for Premier, said the bodies had been "obtained legally and handled properly." A spokeswoman for Florida's attorney general, Charlie Crist, said, "It is up to the board to seek enforcement through the courts, or the museum to seek permission through the courts." The bodies in the exhibition are preserved by a process that replaces human tissue with silicone rubber. Arnie Geller, the president and chief executive of Premier, said their display was no different from an exhibition of mummies.
I'm dying of lack of sleep right now, so this issue will have to await further dissection.

In an earlier post, I discussed an attempt in San Francisco to block this same type of exhibit, by means of a logically questionable emotional appeal (along racial or ethnic grounds), which similarly failed.

posted by Eric on 08.18.05 at 10:21 PM


I should arrange to have my body mummified and buried in the style of Egyptian noblemen. The graver question is: How will my soul fare when I must face the final Judgement of Osiris?

Depends on how well you're mummified, Steven!

(May the saints preserve us!)

Eric Scheie   ·  August 19, 2005 5:55 PM

Can I have my skeleton donated to a medical or scientific university? I don't want my body plastinated... but that's only because I want to be an organ donor (if I don't use my body up.)

B. Durbin   ·  August 20, 2005 3:27 PM

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