Pathology Museums Essay

Submitted By maddiespencer
Words: 1287
Pages: 6

Should Museums Like the “RA RODDA Museum of Pathology” Exist?

Discussed in the wrong context the idea of having human remains, amputations and specimens on display for others to view sounds, not only wrong, but inhumane. So when people discover that there are museums all around the world that are devoted to this purpose they are often shocked and repulsed. But what they don’t know is that these museums of science are the reason for many of the world’s illnesses and diseases being cured. Pathology museums devote their works to doctors and students learning about the human body and show and acknowledge some of the world’s rarest diseases. Pathology is the study and diagnosis of diseases in all living organisms. Human pathology is vital for the survival of our race as we move forward with our future. The study of pathology has been split up into four main components: cause, development, structural alterations, and consequences of change. General pathology is a broad and complex scientific field which seeks to understand the mechanisms of injury to cells and tissues, as well as the body's means of responding to and repairing injury. Areas of study include cellular adaptation to injury, necrosis, inflammation, wound healing, and neoplasia. It forms the foundation of pathology, the application of this knowledge to diagnose diseases in humans and animals. ("Pathology" 2012)

For Med students and teachers having access to specimens is a great tool for them to learn from. Seeing certain diseases first hand can prepare future doctors for what they can encounter in the workplace, decreasing the surprises that they are likely to encounter. Throughout history hospitals and organisation have gone to extreme lengths to obtain bodies to study and thus have created such controversy that is still present today. Strict law for obtaining specimen are now in place. For example the “Human Tissue Act 1985, An Act to make provision for and in relation to the removal of human tissue for transplantation or medical study, for the definition of death and for related purposes (Human Tissue Act 2010). Even tainted by its dark past this doesn’t change the view of the students and teachers who benefit from museums like the “RA RODDA Museum of Pathology” without this tool the medical profession would not be moving forward as swiftly as it is today.

Funding bodies that support projects like the “RA RODDA Museum of Pathology” have to be sure that they are using their money wisely. The upkeep for any pathology museum can vary from anywhere near $2,000,000 upwards (Velan 2009). Then there are other costs such as pay for those who maintain the museum and look after the specimens, the fluid that preserves the specimens needs to be changed yearly to stop decay (Dahlstrom 2011). The Australian government spend over $121.4 billion on health care in Australia, to date, and only a small portion of that is set aside for Pathology. Specimens in the museums are not allowed to have any monetary value as there is a small black market for human body parts thus making the swapping and trading with other museums impossible. There the museums rely on donation in their area to fuel their collections
For the people who are willing to donate their bodies after they are deceased there are always concerns about what to do with their bodies. They can donate their organ to help save another person’s life or they can donate their bodies to science. Donating your body to science is different from donating organs for transplant. 90,000 people are waiting for organs; 100 are added to the list every day, and 17 of them die waiting for organs or tissues. Donating organs is always given priority over donating a body, but in many cases it’s possible to be both an organ donor and a body donor (McArthur 2004). Also people donate their body whilst they are still alive. Amputations make up a fair number of the specimens in pathology museums ranging from limbs to tumours. For