Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Theft of "plastinated fetus"

Yahoo news carried a story about the theft of a "plastinated" fetus from an exhibit. It sounded to me like the fetus wasn't just a model but a real one that had been "plastinated" to be able to go on display. The report said:

We are deeply concerned and disappointed by the theft of this invaluable and irreplaceable specimen," Angelina Whalley, director of the Institute for Plastination, said in a statement.
"How can somebody do this ... it's such a disrespect," she said.

Well, if it wasn't disrespectful to kill the baby in the first place, what's so bad about stealing it, Angelina?


TiaKay said...

EWWWWW. That plastination thing just seems so ..... gross and disrespectful to begin with. I think it would bother me A LOT to see a little tiny one....

TiaKay said...

PS, great blog, Sister! Welcome to Blogdom!

xaipe said...

Actually, there is an exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (running through Labor Day) which features real human bodies that were donated to science (well, donated specifically for this project which is a combination of science and "art"). After being stripped of the skin which would allow them to be identified, the bodies are embalmed in a kind of plastic that allows the scientist to highlight the various systems, and the bodies are also posed in life-like activities so that viewers can see "themselves" as they are on the inside. One of the persons in the exhibit (which I haven't seen; I read about it in the Tribune when it opened) was an expectant mother; her womb is opened in such a way that you can see the 8-month old baby inside. I keep thinking about that woman and her baby. Did she die suddenly and her husband grant permission for her body to become a "learning experience" for thousands? What was on the minds of these people, now depicted in day to day poses, but in such a way that their heart or lungs or brain (or their entire circulatory system)are visible, when they signed their bodies over for this?
The Tribune also noted that the exhibit shows the effects of disease. Evidently, seeing a smoker's lung encased in its bearer's body really makes people think twice about lighting up again.
So my assumption is that the fetus was also from this project. I understand that there are thousands of people who have signed over their bodies for this purpose.

Anonymous said...

Yeah that exhibit from Chicago that is showing dead bodies that were donated for science is the first thing i thought of. Last weekend a guy from school went to see these exhibits and thought it be rahter kool, I hav eheward that there was a few babies stolen from the science exhibit in Chicago. its like $20 to go for an hour and a half and all you see is dead bodies with no skin on them and very revealing of the insides of teh bodies. i was told that there are 2 other exhbits in the States, it was designed by this guy who from over seas.

Ashleigh said...

Actually, the baby was not KILLED for plastination and exhibition purposes. The baby used for the exhibit died of natural causes and was donated with the consent of its parents. It is unfortunate that this child died before it could be brought in to this world, but now its vessel that was used to house its spirit is now on display for educational and scientific purposes. I believe that because the baby was unable to use its body for life, it can be used in death to educate the public and potential or soon to be mothers about fetal development. I do not see any wrong with this.