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Posts tagged: human remains

Some 9/11 Remains Sent To Landfill

Problems with the handling of human remains at a Delaware military base date back at least to Sept. 11, 2001, when portions of bodies brought there after the terrorist attacks were cremated and deposited in a landfill, according to a Defense Department report Tuesday. Detailing previously undisclosed errors at the Dover Air Force Base mortuary, investigators found a 2002 memo that indicated portions of bodies of people killed in the Shanksville, Pa., plane crash and the Pentagon attack couldn't be identified, were cremated at a civilian crematory and then given to a biomedical waste-disposal contractor that deposited the remains in a landfill/Julian E. Barnes, Wall Street Journal. More here. (AP file photo by Heesoon Yim of a helicopter flying over Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001)


Body World: Education? Or Violation?

On Sunday, my family and I attended the Denver exhibition of Body Worlds, a traveling exhibition of preserved human bodies and body parts that are prepared using a technique called plastination to reveal inner anatomical structures. Wikipedia reports: “The exhibition’s developer and promoter is German anatomist Gunther von Hagens, who invented the plastination technique in the late 1970s at the University of Heidelberg.” Bodies, sans skin, were displayed in various poses, including a male on skates lifting a female over his head as though spinning on ice; a female shooting a compound bow; and a gymnast vaulting backward. Incredible stuff. Ditto Mrs. O. But the exhibit has been banned in some countries at some times by judges who believe they defile human remains. You can read about Body World and the surrounding controversy here. What do you think?

Question: Have you seen Body Worlds? What do you think? Is Body Worlds a compelling display of human remains for educational purposes? Or a disrespectful of human remains for monetary gain?

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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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