Monday, March 16, 2009
The Lindow Bog man is on display at Manchester University Museum and connected with this came a debate concerning the proper treatment of human remains.......True, I am only using animal varieties but if we stretch the metaphor....?
Two points of view were posited, ... namely a relationalist view as held by both aboriginal peoples and pagans, that the body is tied to place and should be returned to that place of belonging.
Bio- Ethicist John Harris presented a contrary, rationalist view, that once death has visited, the rights to whatever remains should be predicated on where they would be best served.
Remains less than 100 years old come under the human tissue act (resulting from botch ups at Alder Hey and Bristol) which require consent from next of kin etc.
Harris holds that there should be no preferred interest..... any rights end when life ends....
What do you think?
I always hoped that if a child of mine had died ......and a part of what remained could prolong life in another........ that I would be able to give the relevant consent .......
But would I be able to separate the person I had loved from the body that remained in time ? I'm just not sure.....?
The following link is a transcript of a fascinating debate around this issue that took place in 2003
A Myth (ILLUSTRATIONS TO FOLLOW)
Fifty million years before the
took her first steps on the surface of a warm earth the Tree
Squirrel God looked
over Her forest and thought that it was good.
For many millenia
generations of squirrels lived in peace and
harmony heeding the voice of the
wind until the heartbeat of the earth
called them home, to return into the soil
that had sustained them in life.
Their own heartbeat, swift and shallow,
let each squirrel know that
this time on the skin of the warm earth, flying
through the tall trees would
be as swift as a chatter of their teeth.
yellow dwarf that lit their
way and warmed their backs would be a joyous but
brief friend and they must
So they gathered nuts and
seeds, ate some and buried
others for cold winter days.
They found time to
love and raise several
families. And as they leaped through trees they dreamed
of flight and
returning as birds. They changed as the world changed but above
When each heart stopped beating as surely as
begun, the squirrel would fall from the highest branch into the rich
below to be warmly embraced and made its own.
There in that place,
among the living, they must remain, never to be disturbed.
children would scurry across the ground where they lay sleeping.
And in this
death they would sustain them, feeding the seeds and nuts that
....... until in the briefest of time, they too would come and
join the rich
ancestry of the soil and the heartbeat of the earth.