Confronting the Cadaver: The Denial of Death in Modern Medicine

Chapter

Abstract

A cultural hermeneutic interpretation of the cadaver in the history of medicine is examined in light of a body of evidence, including historical data on cadaver dissection, qualitative analyses of medical students working with cadavers, responses during a panel discussion on experiences in a gross anatomy course, and interviews with the creator of Body Worlds, Gunther von Hagens. The evidence is analyzed and found to support the conclusion that medical education works implicitly to manage death anxiety through a set of defenses which conceal the nothingness of death.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyPoint Park UniversityPittsburghUSA

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