Attack of the body-snatchers

May 16, 2011 —

Students in DMU’s clinical programs and master of science in anatomy program are privileged to begin exploring the body and performing dissections on donated bodies in their first semester, but that wasn’t the case in past centuries: The inability of medical schools and scientists to acquire specimens, the lack of legislation and regulation of body donation, and the increased emphasis on the study of anatomy triggered numerous shocking grave-robbing incidents through history, including in Iowa.

Learn more by attending the Science Center of Iowa’s SCI Friday After 5 event on Friday, May 20, 7 p.m.: Gary Hoff, D.O., FACOI, FACC, chair of DMU’s Department of Medical Humanities and Bioethics, will discuss some of these criminal acts of cadaver-snatching and how they shaped current laws and attitudes regarding body and organ donation.

While you’re at the Science Center, don’t miss the amazing traveling exhibition currently there, BODY WORLDS Vital. You’ll get a penetrating look at what’s beneath our skin – and how to keep it healthy – through anatomical exhibitions of real human bodies.


Endlessly curious and easily entertained, Barb Dietrich Boose loves being a member of the friendly, fascinating DMU community and its creative communications team. The University's publications director and DMU Magazine editor, Barb is always on the hunt for story ideas, good books and new recipes to try out on her family, such as her surprisingly tasty pork-and-bean bars.

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