Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS: Selling Beautiful Education

@article{Burns2007GuntherVH,
  title={Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS: Selling Beautiful Education},
  author={Lawrence Burns},
  journal={The American Journal of Bioethics},
  year={2007},
  volume={7},
  pages={12 - 23}
}
  • Lawrence Burns
  • Published 2 April 2007
  • Sociology, Medicine
  • The American Journal of Bioethics
In the BODY WORLDS exhibitions currently touring the United States, Gunther von Hagens displays human cadavers preserved through plastination. Whole bodies are playfully posed and exposed to educate the public. However, the educational aims are ambiguous, and some aspects of the exhibit violate human dignity. In particular, the signature cards attached to the whole-body plastinates that bear the title, the signature of Gunther von Hagens, and the date of creation mark the plastinates as artwork… 
A Visual Anthropological Approach to the “Edutainment” of BODY WORLDS
  • Nora L. Jones
  • Art, Medicine
    The American journal of bioethics : AJOB
  • 2007
TLDR
BODY WORLDS displays the human body in a manner that fully comports with societal requirements as incorporated in the UAGA because it respects human identity and personhood.
Body Worlds Exhibition and Healthy Lifestyles Promotion: an Educational Research on Neapolitan Visitors
Body Worlds is an informative scientific exhibition which displays human anatomical specimens that have been conserved using plastination, an innovative technique invented by Gunter Von Hagens.
‘It's a personal thing': visitors' responses to Body Worlds
Abstract von Hagens' Body Worlds is a traveling exhibition that allows the public to experience the internal human body through the use of plastinated cadavers. Visitor responses to Body Worlds have
Engaging with plastination and the Body Worlds phenomenon: A cultural and intellectual challenge for anatomists
TLDR
It is concluded that anatomists need to face up to the opportunities and challenges posed by the Body Worlds phenomenon, utilizing what is being presented to the general public and adapting this in teaching and research.
No Dignity in BODY WORLDS: A Silent Minority Speaks
  • A. Allen
  • Sociology, Medicine
    The American journal of bioethics : AJOB
  • 2007
TLDR
Although Burns seems to think the shows can be tweaked to meet most of the legitimate “dignity” concerns I disagree, the whole project is a mistake and lacks more than dignity.
Responsibility and Provenance of Human Remains
  • L. M. Tanassi
  • Sociology, Medicine
    The American journal of bioethics : AJOB
  • 2007
TLDR
Burns (2007) argues that the exhibit should be modified to more fully respect human dignity, and proposes a number of changes in the presentation of plastinated bodies to ensure that educational goals prevail above artistic, entertainment and commercial goals.
Bodies Impolitic? Reading Cadavers
The manuscript considers Body Worlds, Bodies: The Exhibition, and other contemporary displays of plastinated cadavers as communicative museum “texts.” It employs five hermeneutic frames through which
Making Meaning of von Hagens' Body Worlds: Towards an Interdisciplinary Approach to Science Exhibitions
Body Worlds is a traveling exhibition of plastinated human cadavers that offers the general public an opportunity to experience the human body in a unique way. It has been met with controversy and
The impact of body worlds on adult visitors’ knowledge on human anatomy: A preliminary study
TLDR
The results suggest that a visit to Body Worlds’ event Facets of Life may have a beneficial effect in anatomical knowledge, however, further studies with better empirical designs and fewer limitations are needed to confirm the results.
Visceral material: cinematic bodies on screen
This thesis investigates cinema’s attempts to engage in a dialogue with the trace of the physical body. My concern is with the on-screen presentation of the body rather than its treatment as a
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References

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Gunther von Hagens and Body Worlds Part 1: the anatomist as prosektor and proplastiker.
TLDR
Tensions epitomized by Goethe's figures of the prosektor and proplastiker are examined, as well as religious perspectives on the human body, variously interpreted as God's handiwork, habitation for the soul, and vehicle of resurrection.
Gunther von Hagens and Body Worlds part 2: The anatomist as priest and prophet.
TLDR
Religious interpretations of the human body that fuel the tensions manifest in anatomy art are examined, culminating in the Promethean impulse that recognizes not God but ourselves as proper owners and molders of the authors' destiny, embodied in the plastinator's visionary quest to create the superhuman.
Bodyworlds: The Art of Plastinated Cadavers
duced, people used to admire plastic tulips for their realistic quality. Consumers were charmed by the obvious advantages of these fake flowers: they never withered, and every tulip looked absolutely
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  • Psychology, Medicine
    Sociology of health & illness
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TLDR
Body Worlds is less a popularised anatomy lab than a shrine to the human body, a shrine in which medically untrained people can look at the body in new ways.
Re‐inventing anatomy: The impact of plastination on how we see the human body
TLDR
The nature of plastinated human specimens, and the context within which they should be examined, are considered, as are the opportunities and challenges presented by plastination to the anatomical community.
Unclaimed Bodies at the Anatomy Table
TLDR
Using cadavers to teach anatomy has long been deemed essential to medical education, but methods of cadaver acquisition may still not be ideal and studies evaluating the methods and efficacy of donor solicitation programs could reveal superior approaches.
Bodyworlds and the Ethics of Using Human Remains: A Preliminary Discussion
TLDR
The concept of informed consent presupposes substantial duties to the dead, namely duties that reckon with the meaning of the act in question and an attitude of respect and not regarding human remains as mere raw material are non-alienable substantial duties.
Human Dignity and the Ethics and Aesthetics of Pain and Suffering
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TLDR
It is argued that the understanding of the phenomena of pain and suffering and their relationships to human dignity will be expanded when the authors explore the aesthetic dimensions of these various concepts.
The Dignity of Man
E W expressions call forth the nod of assent and put an end to analysis as readily as "the dignity of man." It sounds wholesome and real, and its utterance easily quiets our critical faculties.
Moral Considerations in Body Donation for Scientific Research: A Unique Look at the University of Tennessee's Anthropological Research Facility
TLDR
The ARF is an outdoor laboratory dedicated to better understanding the fate of human remains in forensic contexts, and focuses its research on decomposition, time since death estimates, body location and recovery techniques, and skeletal analysis.
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