Public autopsy - Entertainment or Education?

The above links prove that this is a controversial subject. What is your opinion on public autopsies? Do you think that it is entertainment or education? I believe the man who the autopsy was performed on had agreed to have his body used for scientific purposes. Would you see it if it was in your town? Perhaps this should be in Great Debates.

Being married to a man that works in a funeral home and having a hankering for becoming a pathologist myself, I supposed I am biased with a morbid curiosity. However, while I think that public autopsies are a great idea for those interested, I’m not sure that an art gallery is the proper location for such an event. I think a medical school campus or somesuch would provide much more decorum for the event.
What the hell, why don’t they just show it on Discovery Health? They do just about everything else, and I for one, am sick of seeing births! Every time I turn around it’s a mother of quadruplets or a teenage runaway about to give birth. They need a little more variety.

Maybe. There’s already one in Café Society in case you want to join in there too:
So, I watched an real autopsy on TV last night.

It was shown less than two miles from where I work and I didn’t go, nor did I see the programme (due to a prior engagement; the decision to show it on TV was a very late reschedule anyhow). The morality of this depends entirely on the motivation of all the people involved, and so I don’t think you can draw absolute conclusions.

Gunther von Hagens has frequently claimed that the demonstration was for purposes of public education, not only of anatomy but to bring them closer to the facts of life and death. Everybody I’ve heard discussing the televised autopsy (and who attended it) have claimed that they wanted to see it for educational purposes. If they’re telling the truth then I can’t see any immorality there.

There have been many complaints from people who didn’t see the demonstration.

There’s an ongoing exhibition of treated corpses in the same location as the autopsy was performed, and I know that people’s motivation for viewing it has been very variable. If you just go to gawp at some peeled stiffs I think you’re doing a bad thing.

I think public autopsys should become commonplace.

The deceased has given their consent for their body to be used, ok, it might not be exactly what they had in mind when they left their earthly remains to science, but then I doubt the guy who got put through the cheese-slicer was quite expecting that either.
People don’t seem to have any objection to having thier bodies displayed in this manner, following on from the Body Worlds exhibition, a lot have people have left their bodies to von Hagen (or his followers) for Plastination.
The exhibition has been extended until some time in February due to it’s popularity, so there is obviously an interest in anatomy, and, quite frankly, if you go to see the exhibition or an autopsy for educational reasons, or just to gore yourself out is up to you. No consent laws have been broken, and I doubt the deceased cares about your motivation.

Although, I do think a better setting sould be used to preform public autopsies. If your corpse hasn’t been embalmed for 6 months like the one yesterday, you’re in for a whole different experience. :wink:

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a desert topping and a floor wax!