The first time I saw one of the Bodies Revealed they looked amazing. I first thought of how 3D printers were just making awesome things today. Pretty much anything that can be made in a 3D CAD software can later be reproduced in plastic. My friend Travis actually works for a company that sells and installs this awesome technology. However, I was wrong, the Bodies Revealed are actually real human bodies.
When I started hearing that the exhibit was coming to Kansas City, I was not very happy. I do not believe that science needs to be displayed in a freak show manner, specially since now our technology permits the creation of life like materials that are being used every single day to train doctors. Gone could be the days of gross anatomy where you could only learn by dissecting cadavers.
Someone I know had seen the display before and proceeded to argue the point that it was interesting. He ignored completely my argument that computer 3D models were just as accurate and that displaying bodies like art was somewhat obscene for me. He even thought my wife would see it more from the scientific side of things being a biologist and all. I was not sure so this week I asked her.
She completely agreed with me that it was just creepy to begin with and disrespectful. She then told me how some catholic universities have mass at the beginning of a semester for the people that donated their bodies to science. I have even myself consider donating my body for science and if I do part this earth and my organs can save someone’s life I would be glad to help. I also want to donate bone marrow in the future and have donated donated so many times before that I even got a t-shirt.
I however cannot condone the display of human bodies as a spectacle. I do not see any scientific or artistic merit on this morbid display. I am not as satisfied as Union Station CEO Andi Udris with the company that potentially used unwilling condemned prisoners for some other exhibits. Even thought the company produced documentation, it is not enough for me.
So I call on everyone that reads this blog to just skip this exhibit all together. There are plenty of other exhibitions that can bring more to our city than potentially unwilling human beings displayed as art. Even the willing people that donated their body for science probably did not know they were about to be displayed as if they were part of some sick freak side show. Shame on the Kansas City Star for titling their article on the subject “Willing donors gave bodies to Union Station exhibit, says official.” If you want to believe what a corporation making millions of dead bodies over 20/20, be my guest. However I think that when our local paper posts headlines as full of opinion as Tony Kansas City, who is obviously satirical, we should read between the lines and not believe the headlines. Alonzo Washington was the first local activist to speak up about this, so I am 100% with him. Lets boycott this even.