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Bodies Exhibit

Posted Jan 14 2009 8:40pm
The Carnegie Science Center will open its controversial bodies exhibit on October 8. The Pittsburgh post-Gazette has a nice article regarding the exhibit this morning.

I personally have mixed feelings when it comes to this exhibit. I believe it is an excellent teaching tool offering an unprecedented view of the human body including healthy and diseased organs. Which may motivate individuals to take better care of their bodies. It may also encourage individuals to stop smoking once they see a diseased lung.

The post-Gazette article states that 300,000 students across the country have already viewed this exhibit and 2000 area Pittsburgh students are scheduled to see the bodies. It does not indicate what grade level the students are. I only hope that the students viewing this exhibit are age-appropriate.

The only objection I have deals with informed consent. The bodies were obtained from China who have a very poor human rights record. The post-Gazette article states:

Representatives from Premiere Exhibitions, the company behind the exhibit, have said the unidentified and unclaimed corpses were donated to medical schools for research and educational purposes, a standard practice in the United States and China. The company said the bodies were obtained from the Dalian Medical University plastination labs in China.


I can't say whether or not I will view the exhibit but I do appreciate the opportunity that the Carnegie science Center is providing to all Pittsburghers. It's up to each of us to examine our own moral code and decide if the educational experience outweighs the doubts we may have regarding China and how this exhibit was obtained.
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