Shut Down Real Bodies Exhibition in Sydney, Australia. Respect Human Life.

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We raise serious concern over the unethical nature of The Real Bodies: The exhibition, currently on display in Sydney’s Moore Park Byron Kennedy Hall. This is especially alarming in the light of NSW schools taking children on excursions to see the display of 20 human corpses and over 200 body specimens.

Parents and their children will be exposed to real-life dead corpses in a variety of poses, including  pregnant woman showing their unborn baby in the womb and foetuses from 10 weeks gestation to 32 weeks gestation. Is this display appropriate for children as young as 4?

The organiser, Imagine Exhibitions Inc., has not been transparent about the origins of the specimens and is reported to not have valid consent documentation from the deceased and/or their families.  

Until such documentation is provided, we can’t in good conscience expose our children and the community to such an immoral and base commercial exploitation of the deceased. We urge an immediate shut down of the exhibition and a thorough investigation into any breaches of the Australian legislative and/or legal guidelines associated with such a macabre display.  

Background:

1. It is our understanding that the presenters have not been able to provide valid documentation to prove the bodies' origins, according to the Newscorp report dated April 10. The same inability to provide appropriate documentation was reported during the 2017 exhibition in Prague and Slovakia.

2. Investigative reports have pointed to the questionable origin of the bodies — a large amount of which were created by a university in Dalian, China — suggesting that the cadavers came from executed political prisoners and dissenters. It is important to note that the German weekly Der Spiegel cited the inventor of plastination, Gunther Von Hagens, that the bodies from Dalian were “very fresh”, a criteria that is preferred in the plastination process. In accordance with China’s law a body can be classified as “unclaimed” if it remains in the morgues for 30 days – a duration too long for the plastination process to be successful.

3. In 2010, France’s highest court, the French Supreme Court declared the commercial exhibition of human remains illegal, effectively closing down all such exhibits. Two years later, the Israeli Supreme Court issued a similar ruling. Hawaii banned the shows, as did city councils in Seattle and elsewhere.

4. China’s track record of abuse in the area of organ transplantation has been well documented by governments, media and independent investigators. The grossly unethical Bodies exhibits are believed to be closely linked to these prolific abuses, where similarly vulnerable populations and prisoners of conscience have been reported to be unwilling "donors". The latest evidence compiled in the 2016 report by David Kilgour, Ethan Guttman, and David Matas indicates that China performs up to 100,000 transplants a year, while having a very underdeveloped public donation scheme.  

 



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