"Bodies Revealed" exhibit at Boise's Discovery Center not without controversy
Tina Jensen reports. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Whether it’s muscles, brains, or lungs – human specimens at the “Bodies Revealed” exhibit at the Discovery Center give an up close and personal look at the human body.
"The great thing about this is it allows you to come in and see what's going on inside your body and by doing that, hopefully, it will help you make some healthy lifestyle choices,” said Woody Sobey, education director at the Discovery Center.
The exhibit features a look at healthy organs compared to those damaged by disease.
After seeing examples of a healthy lung versus a smoker's lung, people who are so inclined can put there cigarettes into a nearby receptacle.
The bodies and organs were preserved in polymer.
The question is – who were these people?
Since 2005, the company Premiere Exhibition Management has been the subject of intense scrutiny for where they source their bodies. The cadavers come from China, according to the company. Critics have raised concerns as to whether the subjects voluntarily donated their bodies.
Janine Boire, executive director of the Discovery Center, says they’ve vetted the exhibit for the past few months. She said Premiere Exhbition Management has changed their policies since being the subject of investigations from the New York Times and ABC’s 20/20.
"The process that they went through in New York helped them understand the requirements that they really should be going through, to document and assure themselves and the public that the bodies were donated," Boire said.
The company says in a letter that the specimens were donated “by the deceased individual or his authorized family member” for public education.
"The people whose remains are here really chose this,” said Boire. “This is what they and their families really wanted."