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A New Way to Study Human Anatomy

Updated on October 16, 2017
How can a body tell you about the world? Perhaps  each body is a world in itself.
How can a body tell you about the world? Perhaps each body is a world in itself. | Source

A Trip To The Science Museum

Several years ago, I was asked to be a chaperone. It was for a field trip for high school students who were studying anatomy and physiology in their science class. The teacher felt that it was appropriate to write a letter to the school administrator, and to the parents of the students in regards to an introduction of the subject of the field trip. There was a controversy among some of the adults, because of what was displayed. Therefore, after the school administration gave approval for the trip, several of the parents were asked to volunteer as chaperones as well. Then they could determine which students were allowed to go. I was automatically prepared to go. I was a private nurse attending school everyday with a teen who had a respiratory condition. He was given permission by his parents to go on the trip to the Science Museum, so this was my chance to go because he needed me to attend due to his condition.

The day was exciting for all the students. I observed that most all of the students attended. There were four teachers and about a half dozen parents. And I was glad to be there too. The students were informed of what they were going to see. The expectations of the students were varied. The teen boy that I was attending with was enthusiastic and fascinated. Others were astonished. And this writer was shocked and surprised at the reality of it all.

The human and animal bodies displayed were as if they were inside out. The way they were so preserved was awesome to see. The look of muscles and bone were reconstructed together again as if they were truly in motion. The faces of the models were severe, but oh so real. The detail of every display was quite exaggerated.

The days before this field trip,the students and all those attending had been informed. The scientists who created these resculptured bodies wanted to demonstrate the look of health even though their subjects were not at the time of their construction. The technique that was used for the recreations of anatomy is called plastination. I was thinking about how other technicians created models for "Wax Museums". The displays at wax museums recreate what people look like on the outside. These sculptures of bodies that we saw on this field trip were bodies as they look on the inside.

An excellent way to teach medical students, archeology students, and even artists is through this show of bodies recreated through plastination. It is questionable to me whether this exhibit is appropriate for the average Museum goer. For those who are offended by the display of bodies without clothing, and those who are morally concerned about the use of the scientist's subjects that were once live people, this is a program that should be not seen. I even had discovered the convictions in my own beliefs about God's Creation of human and animal life.

It is not my place to judge the scientist's purpose and his methods of scientific instruction. Just like an artist has the right to display an impression of life on canvas, the scientist providing the exhibit we saw has the right to appreciate what God created, even though his methods of doing so were, to some observers, shocking and unbelievable.

What is Plastination?

Plastination is a technique used by scientists that preserve bodies and body parts. The water and fat of the body's anatomy is replaced with certain kinds of plastics. This allows the specimens not to decay.All the aspects of the body can be seen down to the smallest blood vessel, muscle fiber and bone. Animals as well as humans have been plastinated. The first development of this process was by a man named Gunther Von Hagens, of Germany in 1977.(- from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)


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      Ruby Jean Richert 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I enjoyed reading this. Very educational. It is amazing how body parts can be preserved for study. Thank you for sharing..