I wrote the following letter to the editor of theJewish Journal on Boston's North Shore.September 15, 2006
Don't Exploit the Dead to Attract Crowds
I have been campaigning since the beginning of June to make the public
aware of the ethical issues regarding the Body Worlds 2 exhibit at the
Museum of Science. I have demonstrated several times in front of the
museum, and have also created a website,
http://dignityinboston.googlepages.com/home, that fully explains my
opposition. The public has a right to know why the exhibit is
Sadly, one of the prime audiences for this exhibit is school children.
Rest assured, the museum is not going out of its way to make students
or teachers aware of the ethical questions.
I believe it is wrong to exploit the bodies of the deceased to bring
in the crowds. These exhibits are extremely de-personalizing. Our
remains should be treated with dignity and respect to honor the living
soul that they once contained.
You will hear that the exhibit is educational. This is a smoke screen,
since the educating could just as well have been done without the use
of "real" human bodies. The news media, Hollywood, and even museums
teach us without the use of real objects all the time.
You will hear "but we have permission from the donors of the bodies."
In a nutshell, my answer is "So what?" It is very sad that renowned
institutions such as the Museum of Science feel it necessary to take
cover behind the dead.
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