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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
Body display 'may threaten donations'
Bodyworlds exhibition
The exhibition has been criticised all over the world
A display of human body parts on show in Newcastle could prevent people from donating organs for life-saving transplants, a leading doctor has claimed.

The Bodyworlds exhibition has provoked criticism as sensational and voyeuristic.

The exhibition's German creator Professor Gunther von Hagens, say his work is educational and artistic.

But Dr Roger Serle of Newcastle University's medical school, says the exhibition is "trivial" and could threaten future organ donations.

Dr Gunther von Hagens
Prof von Hagens says his work is art

Prof von Hagens uses a special technique called plastination to preserve bodies in a lifelike way.

He then places them in poses, which graphically show internal body parts and organs.

But Dr Serle said: "This exhibition is sensationalising and trivialising the very important act of body donation.

"Medical schools require people to provide their bodies and the concern is that exhibitions such as this are trivialising this whole aspect.

"Prof von Hagens says this is educational. I thinks it is not educational. What it is is a very sensational use of the human body and is very voyeuristic."

Organ grafting

Prof von Hagens, who is hosting the one-day exhibition on Tuesday in a bus outside Newcastle University, said: "We want to liberate anatomy from the experts.

"This exhibition is highly educational because when you can see beneath your skin you can see how fragile you are.

"You can see healthy organs compared to diseased organs like smokers' lungs."

But Dr Serle added: "There is the concern in the light of scandals about retained body parts that the number of people giving their bodies for organ grafting will decline."

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 ON THIS STORY
Prof Gunther von Hagens
"I am liberating anatomy for the people"
Dr Roger Serle, Newcastle University
"The exhibition is trivial"

Click here to go to Tyne
See also:

29 Mar 01 | Media reports
17 Mar 99 | Middle East
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