Dissection and Its HistoriesBook - 2006
This book tells the scandalous story of how medical men obtained the corpses upon which they worked before the use of human remains was regulated. Helen MacDonald looks particularly at the activities of British surgeons in nineteenth-century Van Diemens Land, a penal colony in which a ready supply of bodies was available. Not only convicted murderers, but also Aborigines and the unfortunate poor who died in hospitals were routinely turned over to the surgeons.
This sensitive but searing account shows how abuses happen even within the conventions adopted by civilized societies. It reveals how, from Burke and Hare to todays televised dissections by German anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens, some peoples bodies become other peoples entertainment.