Science and Sensibility

The above article reports on a sad circumstance related to body donation. Many people contemplate it for their own body as part of their estate planning. But this article sensationally reports a different time and different circumstance, but nonetheless sad and grief ridden for their relatives.

The study of human anatomy has a long and gruesome history. These days it is stringently managed by legislation called the Anatomy Act. That legislation came about because even for the times of yore the behaviour of our society went beyond imagining. In days of old the corpses of hanged criminals were mostly used by medical students for the study of human anatomy. But as great poverty and scientific curiosity intersected a trade in human bodies developed. That gave rise to the practice of body snatchers. But things got even more out of control. In the 1800s two unemployed men living in Edinburgh took it one step further. They murdered 20 people to trade their bodies for science. They were eventually tried for their crimes and in a strange twist of fate one of their bodies ended up on the anatomy table. A societal uproar naturally occurred and this resulted in the  original Anatomy Acts on which our current legislation is designed.

If you would like to know more about how this legislation works in the context of organ donation please see this link:-