Healthy Living: Local News
Exhibit of human bodies coming to Anchorage in September
Story Updated: Jan 11, 2012
NPR reported that there was "no clear paper trail from willing donors to exhibited bodies." Donors send consent forms that are checked when bodies arrive at plastination facilities, but because of privacy issues, the corpses then become anonymous.
"No one will know for sure," concluded reporter Neda Ulaby.
Pepper Henry said he was comfortable with the assurances he'd received. "There are several exhibitors of these kinds of shows," he said. " 'Body World' has the best reputation in terms of documentation. And in this particular exhibit the provenance is clear. They've undergone a lot of scrutiny and in terms of ethics we're confident that they have followed the code."
Pepper Henry said that one reason for his confidence was von Hagens' open and proactive effort to get volunteers to donate their bodies upon their death.
"Some 9,000 people have signed up to donate their bodies to date," Pepper Henry observed. "The 'Body Worlds' people promise that anyone who donates their body can get into the show for free."
(Not exactly free; survivors will need to pay for shipment of the body to an approved preparation facility. Information and the donation form.
Pepper Henry stressed the "huge educational value" of the exhibit. A press release from the museum said the show will encourage healthy lifestyles by presenting information about diseases, exercise and substance use.
"It literally shows what a healthy body looks like from the inside out -- and also what an unhealthy body looks like," said Pepper Henry. "A smoker and a non-smoker, an active person and a lethargic one. I'm sure that a whole lot of people will be interested in getting health club memberships after they see this show."
Pepper Henry predicted that "Body Worlds" will break all attendance records at the museum. "This is one of the most in-demand traveling exhibitions in the world," he said. "We're very excited."
"Body Worlds Vital" will require a ticket in addition to museum admission. The prices and on-sale date have yet to be announced.
Reach Mike Dunham at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4332.