Tag Archives: cadavers

Anatomica: the exquisite and unsettling art of human anatomy

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover: Anatomica: The Exquisite and Unsettling Art of Human Anatomy, by Joanna Ebenstein  The first known anatomy book was written around 300 BC by Diocles, a Greek philosopher and physician who based his work on animal dissections. Andreas Vesalius’ De Humani corpori Fabrica from 1543 was the first […]

Dr. Auzoux and his papier-mâché anatomical models

Portrait of Thomas Louis Jerome Auzoux. Credit: Wellcome Collection.  (CC BY 4.0) The teaching of anatomy has often been impeded by legal restrictions on dissection or by a shortage of cadavers. As drawings or paintings are generally inadequate for the purpose of instruction, some anatomists have resorted to using three-dimensional models made of materials such as […]

An interrupted dissection

The increasing interest in teaching anatomy by dissecting the human cadaver had a sordid side—the practice of body snatching, the illegal removal of corpses from graves, often by organized gangs of so-called resurrectionists. Body snatching was first recorded in Italy as early as the fourteenth century and as the centuries went on it became widespread […]

Broken Heart

Judy Schaefer A woodcut by Aoki Shukuya, 1772 From Kaishi Hen (Analysis of Cadavers) Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA Broken Heart You have opened up my heart and now sponge mop the rivets of red blood And count each sponge as testimony to the pain. You had talked of a bypass exits and egress, yield I imagine […]

Cadavers for dissection

 Mary V. Seeman Toronto, Ontario, Canada   Job by sculptor Marek Szwarc, 1935 bronze, Private Collection.   At the beginning of the twentieth century, medical students in Europe found it very difficult to obtain what at the time was considered essential: adequate numbers of cadavers for an anatomy class. Morgues permitted access to unclaimed corpses, […]

Dissecting Cadavers: Learning Anatomy or a Rite of Passage?

Emmanuelle Godeau Toulouse, France   In many medical schools, dissection of cadavers remains an essential component of the curriculum, even though surveys from the past 50 years have shown this is not the most efficient way of learning anatomy. Yet the persistence of dissections suggests a different role: a rite of passage and creating an […]