The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

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W. W. Norton & Company Paperback

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Forlag W. W. Norton & Company

Format Paperback

ISBN13 9780393324822

Språk Engelsk

Sider 304

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In England and other Commonwealth countries, researchers and anatomy instructors sidestep the possibility of family or public disapproval by using body parts and prosections—the name given to embalmed cadaver segments used in anatomy labs—rather than whole cadavers. England’s antivivisectionists, as animal rights activists are called there, are as outspoken as America’s, and the things that outrage them are more encompassing, and, dare I say it, nonsensical. To give you a taste: In 1916, a group of animal rights activists successfully petitioned the British Undertakers Association on behalf of the horses that pulled their hearses, urging members to stop making the horses wear plumes on their heads.

The British investigators know what butchers have long known: If you want people to feel comfortable about dead bodies, cut them into pieces.

A cow carcass is upsetting; a brisket is dinner. A human leg has no face, no eyes, no hands that once held babies or stroked a lover’s cheek. It’s difficult to associate it with the living person from which it came. The anonymity of body parts facilitates the necessary dissociations of cadaveric research: This is not a person. This is just tissue. It has no feelings, and no one has feelings for it. It’s okay to do things to it which, were it a sentient being, would constitute torture.

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