Physician, plastinate thyself
2011-01-05 0:00

By Rob Sharp |

His preserved dead bodies have spooked, captivated and disgusted the public. Now, Gunther von Hagens, pioneer of the controversial Body Worlds exhibitions, has added future plans to display his own corpse after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

Dr Von Hagens, dubbed "Dr Death" for his phantasmagorical shows of fleshless corpses, revealed to his employees over Christmas that he is grappling with the degenerative condition. He claims to have seven years to live, and has expressed his desire to organise an exhibition involving his own dead body. The anatomist uses "plastination" to replace cadavers’ fats and fluids with silicone to halt decay.

"I want to decide where I will be exhibited," Dr von Hagens, 65, told the German newspaper Bild. "I will prepare for the plastination of my own body and decide the place where I want to be exhibited after my death."

He told his employees at his Plastinarium – his huge "factory" in Guben, close to the German-Polish border – that his family and "inner circle" have known about his condition for two years. He said he estimated the average duration of the disability to be nine years though he could reasonably expect "seven active years" before he was completely incapacitated.

"I can no longer hide the symptoms," he added in a statement. "My hands tremble, my language is vague, my movements are unco-ordinated. Again and again, I stumble around like a child. I have begun to lose skills I once had, knowing that they will never come back again."

Dr von Hagens also revealed he had been undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation, in which electrodes are implanted into a patient’s brain to treat tremors, a common symptom of the disorder. He said he intended to scale down work at his laboratory. He said: "Parkinson’s has changed my life and compelled me to change the course of my life’s work."

He added that he intended to spend his remaining years developing a digital anatomical "atlas", along with testing and filing patents for further anatomical techniques. "I would like to create a new body of work reconciling human anatomy and art, a continuation of the work of the Renaissance anatomists that I am calling ’aesthetic anatomy’, for exhibitions destined for art museums."

The scientist invented the "plastination" process in 1977 while working at the University of Heidelberg, and patented it the following year. The technique was first used on human subjects in the 1990s, with Dr von Hagens putting on his first Body Worlds exhibition in 1995 in Tokyo.

The shows, involving corpses displayed in often bizarre positions – such as riding skateboards or playing with guitars – have now been to more than 50 venues around the globe and have been visited by an estimated 26 million people.

In 2002, Dr von Hagens performed the first public autopsy in Britain in 170 years. It was shown on Channel 4 later the same year and resulted in 130 complaints to Ofcom.

Regarding any future plans to display Dr von Hagens’s corpse, Professor Nick Bostrom, the director of the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, said: "I don’t know about the ethics, but it seems at least aesthetically right that this artist’s own body should become the final instalment of his life’s work."

Article from:

Body Worlds Exposition: Part 1

Video from:

Related Articles
Woman drove with dead body in passenger’s seat for 10 months
’Our Body’ exhibition banned in France
Women tried to smuggle corpse onto plane
BodyWorlds site

Latest News from our Front Page

The Pilgrims Were Definitely Not Like Modern-Day Refugees
2015-11-27 20:01
This upcoming Thanksgiving Day is sure to offer you and your family plenty of opportunities to argue over whether America should be welcoming Syrian refugees. If you have any liberal relatives or friends coming over for your Thursday feast, they’re going to relish the chance to tell everyone that the Pilgrims were refugees too — and hope that statement decimates all ...
ISIS to France: "We will be coming. Victory has been promised to us by Allah"
2015-11-26 3:33
Homegrown French ISIS fighters have issued a chilling threat of new attacks on France just 24 hours after the terrorist group used movie footage of the Eiffel Tower's collapse in another video.  A balaclava-clad militant is seen warning 'we will be coming, we will come to crush your country' in footage posted on Twitter earlier today. It is unclear where the film ...
ISIS teenage 'poster girl' Samra Kesinovic 'beaten to death' as she tried to flee the group
2015-11-26 1:07
She appeared in social media images for the group carrying a Kalashnikov and surrounded by armed men A teenage girl who ran away from her Vienna home to join Isis in Syria has reportedly been beaten to death by the group after trying to escape. Samra Kesinovic, 17, travelled to Syria last year with her friend Sabina Selimovic, 15. The two became a ...
The Right Stuff's flagship podcast "The Daily Shoah" has been censored by Soundcloud
2015-11-25 22:56
Editor's note: The PC corporate moral police strike again. Just as Radio 3Fourteen & Red Ice Radio were censored from iTunes, The Daily Shoah was pulled from Soundcloud today. As per usual, there is a double standard, they allow any kind of anti-White material: No counter culture humor making fun of the genocidal mainstream garbage is allowed! ... From: Soundcloud took it upon ...
Merkel Welcomes A Million More: Vows To Stand By Refugee Policy Despite Security Fears
2015-11-25 21:05
Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed on Wednesday to stick to her open-door refugee policy, defying criticism at home and abroad which has intensified due to growing fears about a potential security risk after the Islamist attacks in Paris. Conservative Merkel faces splits in her right-left coalition and pressure from EU states, including France, over her insistence that Germany can cope with up ...
More News »