Monday, March 10, 2008

"Bodies" Controversy Leads to Legislation

The controversy over "Bodies... the Exhibition" at the Carnegie Science Center has prompted new legislation in Harrisburg. The exhibition features plasticized cadavers with the skin pulled back to reveal the inner workings of the human body. State Representative Mike Fleck of Huntingdon County has proposed a bill modeled after a similar one in California. The bill would give counties the power to permit exhibits of human remains. To get the permit, companies would have to prove that the remains were acquired with the donors' consent.

The Bodies exhibition has been controversial partly because the company behind it, Premier, has acknowledged that it cannot prove that the donors consented. The remains were acquired from China. The Chinese government denies that the remains came from political prisoners.

Another commercial exhibitor called Body Worlds says it has documents that show its donors gave informed consent.

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