Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dissection makes the news (again!)

Yet another news piece references our Dissection book. This most recent posting by reporter Kelly Heyboer, appeared in the online version of New Jersey’s Star Ledger on Friday March 26. Heyboer noted that “in recent months, medical schools around the nation have begun re-examining their ethics codes after a string of disturbing cases in which students photographed or videotaped cadavers and posted the images on Facebook and YouTube.” While acknowledging the troubling ethical impact of images conveyed by social networking tools, she also observed that “Taking photos with cadavers is nothing new. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, medical students regularly posed with cadavers. Some took darkly humorous shots with the dead bodies posed or dressed in costumes. Others took serious classroom photos mid-dissection.” To support this assertion, Heyboer featured an image from the Dittrick’s collection that appears in Dissection.

We will have another opportunity to promote
Dissection in early April, when John Warner and I will make a presentation at the Countway Library of Harvard Medical School. On April 7 we will be mounting an exhibition of dissection images there and talking about the book. Those in the Boston area are welcome to attend and may find event details here.

Jim Edmonson

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