Human body exhibitions: Public opinion of young individuals and contemporary bioethics

Athanasios Raikos*, George K. Paraskevas, Maria Tzika, Panagiota Kordali, Fani Tsafka-Tsotskou, Konstantinos Natsis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The exhibitions of plastinated cadavers and organs have attracted millions of visitors globally, while raising serious controversy about their content and purpose of implementation. Methods: We performed a survey based study on 500 randomly chosen individuals, aged 18- to 35-year old, in order to access their opinion regarding the conduction of such shows as well as body donation for scientiWc purposes. Results: We found that 46.3% of the participants had moral concerns, and 46.1% did not. Religious and philosophical beliefs concerned 21.8% of the sample, while 28% believed that the exhibits may aVect visitors' mental health. Human dignity violation was stressed by 21.6%, whereas 26.6% disagreed with body donation to science. Conclusions: The desire for qualitative-guided anatomy education is evident from the highly popular plastinated body and specimen exhibitions. Hence, additional focused eVort could be provided to educate the public about normal and pathological anatomy in order to amend their life-style. This could be eVected by certiWed anatomy demonstrators in graduated steps according to the cohort's age, education, occupation, and health status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-440
Number of pages8
JournalSurgical and Radiologic Anatomy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


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