Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Choice Cut Cadavers

In a solemn moment of quiet anticipation, a bereaved family finally receives the ashes of their loved one in a specially selected urn. Friends and relatives gather around and offer condolences, amidst controlled sobs that would express the painful loss of someone who has been a part of their lives. The struggle to be lucid and emotionally balanced is difficult to achieve, and the realization of the need to move on has not settled in the minds of the bereaved as yet. The immediate family is in a subconscious state of mourning and weeping at the demise of the deceased. Holding the urn close to their hearts and caressing it to simulate touching the departed eases the ache they feel so deeply. The only problem is, it is not their loved one's ashes, or not all of it; but they don't know it yet.

A thriving business has emerged, driven by market forces of supply and demand that parallels taking specially packed choice cuts of chicken in a supermarket; but this time, the choice cuts are body parts. Carefully wrapped and preserved in freezers are several heads, torsos, legs, arms, or whole bodies. The demand from research organizations, medical schools, and other like institutions has made it a lucrative enterprise. The UK, seeking to expose their medical students and surgeons to human tissue before licensing, has joined its American counterparts in working with cadavers, which has increased orders beyond what providers can sell or supply.

The demand-supply gap has expanded the trade into a whole new industry that makes a living off the dead. It has also spawned black marketing in body parts where funeral homes and crematoriums are syndicated to stabilize supply; with the expectation of making a killing from these dead bodies. Rather than cremate the body, ashes are scraped from the bottom of the ovens or elsewhere, placed in the urn, and very consolingly offered to the relatives, while the real body is being disarticulated (chopped -up), wrapped and preserved for waiting high paying customers. A macabre and morbid discovery in California is a small tip on the iceberg of a potentially widespread ghoulish enterprise.

It is illegal to buy and sell human bodies, but due to the difficult nature of detecting this crime, fortunes are made by those who have lost feelings of shame, remorse, or horror at the way food is made available in their household tables. A science outfit, Anatomy Gifts Registry is one of the few who are on the legitimate side of the body supply business. This company "persuades" the dying to donate their bodies for scientific study. In return, they pay for all expenses, and costs of cutting this down to manageable study sizes. They claim that people's desire to help creates an altruistic motivation to donate. However, this may not always be the case since the lure of picking up expense costs of the patient may be the real motivation to sacrifice one's body for mutilation without burial, to alleviate the surviving relatives from paying huge hospital and medical bills.

The legal method is still a trade made legitimate by a consent to donate, but could be tied down to their inability to afford hospital expenses. Altruism is the facade for this choice. In the case of syndicates in funeral homes, it is thievery of the most contemptuous and heartless nature done only by the lowest form of maggots who feast on the remains of unfortunate humans. Saving more lives using dead ones has always been a process people choose to ignore, but trading in it as a business or industry for profit should engender karmic repercussions of the deadliest variety.



angesbiz said...

So I choose to look in on you when you have written on such a morbid subject!! Durano, this is ghoulish isn't it. I would rather not know that the ashes are not of a loved one. In regards to the remains, it is the spirit that lives on in our hearts and what is left after a cremation is a symbol of what we once were.

I had heard that it goes on and I bet there is even more that we never hear about. Illegal body trading is horrid to say the least and they will surely get their karmic repercussions... what goes around, comes around is something I strongly believe in.

Aside from that, I trust that all is well with you and yours. It is Easter weekend coming up here in Australia and school holidays too, so I will be out with the kids finding entertainment for them.

Have an awesome day!


durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Ange,

I didn't mean to scare anyone but simply to remind them that such things and such people exist. There are those who put ashes of their departed atop cabinets or shelves and create a shrine around it. Can you imagine their horror and rage in finding out that their family member is being dismembered in some medical school?

It's a terrible thing. Chilling and creepy. I really cannot understand the motivation behind those who steal bodies. Those donating deserve some looking into because I feel that the hospital expenses issue is the reason for the donation. And guess what, it is the poor and underprivileged who are persuaded to donate. I didn't include this as I am not certain if there are rich people who donate their bodies. Perhaps there are, but even if they do, I'll bet the majority are poor.

Even in death, the poor are always shortchanged. What a life huh?

Have a nice vacation and Happy Easter to you and your Family! :-)--Durano, done!

ZenDenizen said...

Chilling and creepy indeed. Your ability to write effectively on so many diverse, unrelated topics never fails to amaze me.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hello Zen,

Thanks for the kind words of compliment. The basic element I guess is empathy, putting myself in other people's shoes and seeing it fro their perspective. Humanity is another, as well as the basic freedoms as an inherent right of every human being.

Also, I am a voracious reader of History,movies, music and anything that I have time to read and learn something from. I'll never know when I could use them, but the blogosphere has provided a lot of opportunities for its expression.

I also travel a lot and meet a lot of people from different backgrounds and beliefs. I make it a point to learn from them and understand them and their culture; looking at life from their perspectives with the basic freedoms as a starting point.

Thanks for the visit. You're always welcome and so much fun to read. :-)--Durano, done!