OMG that's Great Aunt Bessie!!!

Florida AG May Scuttle Cadaver Exhibit
By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer

TAMPA, Fla. - A decision by Florida's attorney general Friday could scuttle plans for a controversial museum exhibit featuring human bodies preserved and posed to reveal their inner workings.

The board that oversees the use of human specimens at Florida's medical schools wants proof that the deceased or their families authorized the use of the bodies.

The Tampa Museum of Science and Industry argues that the Anatomical Board doesn't have jurisdiction.

Attorney General Charlie Crist weighed in Friday, writing that because the purpose of "BODIES: The Exhibition" is educational, "it is my opinion that the approval of the Anatomical Board of the State of Florida is required."

What that means for the future of the Tampa exhibit, scheduled to open Aug. 20, remains to be seen.

Museum President Wit Ostrenko said Friday the exhibition would open as scheduled. "It is our intention to continue to have a constructive dialogue in an attempt to resolve our differences," he said.

But on Thursday, Arnie Geller, president and CEO of Premier Exhibitions, the Atlanta promoter of the exhibit, said the documentation the board wants would be impossible to obtain because the identities are unknown.

The bodies were obtained legally but belonged to Chinese people who died unidentified or unclaimed by family members and were preserved at the Dalian Medical University of Plastination Laboratories in China, according to the exhibition's medical director, Roy Glover.

"BODIES: The Exhibition" features 20 cadavers and 260 other parts preserved with a process that replaces human tissue with silicone rubber. Skin is removed, exposing muscles, bones, organs, tendons, blood vessels and brains.

Tampa is to be the U.S. debut for the exhibit.

A similar human anatomy exhibit called "Body Worlds" is now showing in the United States and has drawn more than 15 million visitors since its debut in Tokyo in 1996. It has also drawn criticism from medical ethicists, however, and the condemnation of religious groups that claim it violates the sanctity of the human body.

No comments: