The controversial REAL BODIES exhibition has been on display at the Connecticut Science Center since early this month. Attached is a copy of my 7-year old daughter’s letter to board members of CT Science Center and to Hartford City Council members.
It’s her first draft and please pardon her spelling. The organizer stated that the specimens are all “unclaimed bodies” from China. It failed to provide proof of consent from the deceased or their families. Making profit from the deceased without their consent is terribly wrong. Respecting the death and let them rest in peace sounds simple.
I suppose many don’t see it as clearly as a child.
[Editor’s note: The Connecticut Science Museum has posted this collection of answers to questions frequently asked about the Real Bodies exhibit. The FAQ addresses, among other things, where and how the bodies were acquired.]
William Cheung and his daughter live in Fairfield.
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Grace raises good points. Indigenous people around the globe have been trying to get museums to return the bodies of their ancestors. In the US we have the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act to protect the remains of Native Americans (not always successfully carried out). We should act in principled ways with respect to bodies. These bodies were not “donated to science,” and as Grace and her dad point out, there are no consent forms. These are human remains, not teaching tools.
This article raises excellent points about the questionable ethics of this display. For more on this topic, I highly recommend reading this book:
Whenever REAL human bodies are used for the advancement of medical knowledge there will be someone who questions the ethics associated with it. I am not trying to condone the use of bodies obtained illegally, as I find that abhorrent. But, where would medical science be today without the ability to examine real bodies? The reality is that ALL humans, along with the multitude of ailments that affect them, are teaching tools for medical treatment – dead or alive.
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