on display in the BODY WORLDS exhibitions
They belonged to people who declared during their lifetime that their bodies should be made available after their deaths for the training of physicians and the instruction of laypersons.
Many donors underscore that by donating their body, they want to be useful to others even after their death. Their selfless donations allow us to gain unique insights into the human body, which had previously been reserved for physicians. Therefore, we wish to thank the living and deceased body donors.
The Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany is the administrator of the body donation program for Plastination. It has a roster of 17,286 registered body donors (as of Jan. 2017), the majority of the donors are German.
|Number of Body Donors|
|Europe (including Germany)||15.871|
|America (North-, Mid- und South-America)||1.389|
People decide to donate their body for Plastination after death for a number of reasons:
“Two years ago I saw your exhibition and I still get goosebumps thinking about it! Never before had the universe of human creation presented itself to me in a more realistic manner!”
“I truly believe Plastination is a gift to the world. Until now, only doctors and surgeons have been able to see the human body in all its complexity. Everybody knows that the body is a complex machine. But you can never appreciate how deeply complex it is, until you’ve seen it in the way Plastination makes possible.”
“Mindfulness is about caring for others. What better way to care for others than allow others for better understanding of human life. Through the exploration of my body, it is my wish that other people will gain understanding of how precious each breath on this planet is.”
“It is not death that a man should fear but he should fear never beginning to live”—Marcus Aurelius. Having tried to live my life fully and quite thoroughly enjoying it, I wish to freely share my body in the spirit of education as well as freeing our society from ancient taboos surrounding death. Perhaps encouraging to accept death as a part of life’s journey.”
“Once my soul leaves my physical body, it is just a physical configuration of atoms, no different than a canvas or painting, and no longer housing my soul. As a scientist, I understand the importance of discovery, investigation and understanding. As an artist, too, I also understand creativity, ingenuity and vision.”