20/20 on Corpse Shows

As I indicated the other day, ABC’s 20/20 will be doing an expose tonight on the Secret Trade in Chinese Bodies.

The German doctor who invented the process that led to hundreds of human bodies being put on display around the world, says he has stopped using bodies from China because some of them may be those of executed Chinese prisoners. …

The German doctor, labeled Dr. Death by some European newspapers, said, “I am concerned that public exhibitions are being hijacked by corporate interests.”

 And here’s an e-mail I received with some more links:
Thanks everybody who has posted on the 20/20 site!
Not being an expert at these things, it was a surprise when they launched a completely new blog when they updated their story. If you haven’t posted yet, or you would like to re-post (as I did), here is the blog that will likely accumulate all the responses from the story when it airs.
Video promo of the show.
Also, Morris Tsai who organized a protest of the the exhibits in Cincinnati
told us that his local Cincinnati affiliate will host him in their studio, has interviewed Brian Ross and will run a story afterwards. We’ve asked him to send us the links so we can send them to you, but likely there will also be updates on his blog above.
BTW, the investors on the Raging Bull blog have been gnashing their teeth at that Durham woman who took it upon herself to protest and establish a website and a petitions and network a bunch of the individual protester sites together. Poor woman. We hope she’s not taking it too hard.
Mom de Guerre

4 thoughts on “20/20 on Corpse Shows

  1. What really creeps me out is the comments by the majority of people on the ABC article. “But it was so educational and I learned so much!” As if that outweighs WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING AT.

    I’m reminded of a line from Gladiator: “Are you not entertained! Are you not entertained! Is this not why you are here!”

  2. It is interesting to note that neither the 20/20 show nor the website stressed the so- called educational value of the exhibits. Few members of the general public, except for maybe medical students, really need to see the detailed body parts that these exhibits reveal. And even medical students get a better education from their studies on cadavers that have been donated for the express purpose of medical education.

    What creeped me out the most was when they showed that there are websites where people can order a body for their living room or front yard, or whatever.

    I was disappointed that the 20/20 special did not reveal religious outrage at this spectacle- only the rabbi spoke of dignity of the person. To me, the 20/20 show played it straight down the middle on the issue of whether bodies should be displayed in this manner and concentrated more on the political prisoner issue in China. People watching will be all the more inclined to rush out to one of these exhibits to see what the hubbub is all about.

  3. Personally, I this the “educational” argument is irrelevant and, worse, morally empty. The Nazis performed many experiments on concentration camp prisoners; and in the US black men were allowed to die of syphilis for “research purposes.” Both results were “true” but the reality of how they were obtained takes away any value.

    The plastination shows aren’t “educational” — they are for-profit freak displays, trading titillation for money. They are approximately a billion other, good, and ethical ways to learn about human anatomy.

    The issue here is consent and a country, China, that routinely violates human rights.

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