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The Business of Dead Bodies

The popularity of museum exhibits featuring preserved human bodies has created a boom in body factories in China. According to an article published today in the New York Times, the lack of government oversight and the sheer numbers of cheap med school labor and access to cadavers and organs has resulted in the opening of at least 10 Chinese body factories in the last few years. These body shops seem like the new sweatshops where hundreds of people work on preserving the nameless bodies in an assembly line.

Where do these bodies come from? Who knows. They could be assassinated prisoners, mentally ill people, the homeless, or victims of a crime. Heck, a worker in one of these factories could come across an organ from their long lost cousin and never even know it. Are museums exchanging their morals for low-cost preserved human bodies? You can chalk it up to scientific discovery, but that half cut open woman cadaver has a story — just because she’s dead does it mean we don’t need to make sure she chose to be donated to science?

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