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A 'Life-Affirming' Look at the Dead

June 17, 2005

Re 'Why the Dead Are a Killer Act," Commentary, June 12: Michael Sappol has some misconceptions about the "Body Worlds" show. I felt that the exhibit was joyous and life-affirming, not just a "fascination with the cadaver," as he stated. I left the show with a sense of awe at the beauty and complexity of the human body. The fact that the specimens were corpses was beside the point, at least for me.

Another misconception is that the specimens were "conscripted to perform for the amusement of the living." Although this may have been true in the early days of plastination, there are now 6,000 living people on German anatomist Gunther von Hagens' donor waiting list. As the exhibition continues touring, I'm sure that the number will continue to grow.

Richard Norman

Altadena

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