German anatomist sells body parts online

Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:53am EDT
 
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By Michelle Martin

BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - Gunther von Hagens, a German anatomist famous for his controversial Body World exhibition displaying plastinated bodies, is now selling human and animal body parts -- even as jewelry -- online.

The move has provoked strong condemnation from German churches which accuse him of degrading human dignity.

A whole body from www.plastination-products.com costs about 70,000 euros ($97,400), torsos start at 55,644 euros and heads come in at around 22,000 euros each -- excluding postage and packaging.

For those on a tighter budget, transparent body slices are available from 115 euros each.

But these real body parts -- which have undergone plastination, a process which replaces water and fat with plastic for preservation purposes -- are not available to everyone.

Only "qualified users" who can provide written proof that they intend to use the parts for research, teaching or medical purposes can place an order.

Interested parties who do not fall into this category can buy reproductions of the real body parts -- so-called "Anatomy Glass," which the shop's website describes as "high resolution acrylic glass prints of the original body slices."

Jewelry crafted from animal corpses, including necklaces made from horse slices, wristbands made from giraffe tails and earrings made from bull penises, is also available to the general public.   Continued...