MEMBERS of staff from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) have voiced their opposition to the BODIES exhibition after a number of students were given free tickets to the exhibition from TCD Students’ Union (SU). TCD Head of Medicine, Prof Dermot Kellegher and Head of Anatomy, Dr Paul Glackan sent an email to all staff and students requesting that they consider the ethnical implications of the BODIES exhibition before they attend it.

TCDSU President, Cathal Reilly, confirmed that the SU did distribute free tickets to students but denied any knowledge of the objections members of staff had to the exhibtion at the time the tickets were given out. The tickets were distributed over a week before any information regarding staff objections was passed on to the SU President, who explained that the tickets given to TCDSU were supplied by the promoters, MCD and he was carrying out their request for them to be distributed.

Mr Reilly supported his decision to distribute the tickets to the exhibition, commenting that it would benefit students who were studying any health science courses. “I think on the one hand, it could prove very beneficial academically to go along and have a look,” said Mr Reilly. “Especially for students that are studying things like anatomy, physology and medicine.”

In addition to TCD staff members’ objections, the Anatomical Committee of the Dublin Medical Schools has recommended that all staff and students of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), TCD and UCD should not support this exhibition.

Some of the criticisms aimed at the exhibition are that it contains some unidentified and unclaimed bodies, as well as some foetuses which were obtanied without the consent of family members. Other accusations include that some of the bodies were those of executed Chinese prisoners. An investigation last year, conducted the New York Attorney General, concluded that the company running the event could not demonstrate the causes of death of the individuals dissected nor could they establish that they consented to their remains being used in this manner.