Ethicist argues for ban on corpse exhibition

Fr Michael McCabe, who heads New Zealand's Nathaniel Centre for Bioethics, has said that the Amazine Human Body Exhibition, which opens in Sydney next week, "crosses a moral and ethical line and should be banned".

The NZ Herald reported yesterday that Fr McCabe is seeking to prevent the touring exhibition from including New Zealand in its itinerary.

The exhibition features the preserved bodies of 20 people, including unborn babies, and more than 350 organs to demonstrate the inner workings of the human body.

The exhibition will spend several months in Australia. Event manager Wayne Castle said he hoped to bring the collection to New Zealand between August and October.

"It is one of the most amazing things. You can see the difference between a smoker's lung and a normal lung, you can see the effect of alcoholism on a liver, you can see what a hip replacement looks like," Mr Castle said.

"In New Zealand we have laws and customs, which are time-honoured, for which we treat and honour the dead," said Fr McCabe. "There is a general acceptance across all cultures that the body is sacred. Even if the adults have given consent for their bodies to be used in that way, and I would question that, I'm quite sure the foetuses didn't have any say or chance to give consent."

Mr McCabe said there are other, more respectful ways to teach than using human corpses.

Ban corpse exhibition, says Church (NZ Herald 20/1/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Nathaniel Centre for Bioethics
The Amazing Human Body Exhibition (Sydney Olympic Park)

Melbourne in line for corpse exhibition (The Age 17/1/06)

24 Jan 2006