A sign posted to the outside of a metal tub where cadaver's are kept. Due to policies with UC Davis, there is no photography or videography of the cadavers allowed inside the Anatomy Lab. Photo credit: Tyler Boydstun

Let the deceased rest in peace

The bodies in the Anatomy Lab on Humboldt State Universities campus are not allowed for the viewing of the public.
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By | Bryan Donoghue

The Humboldt State University Biological Sciences department rents out four cadavers at a time from UC Davis’s Body Donation Program. John Reiss, a professor of the Anatomy Lab at Humboldt State University explains that cadavers on campus are not allowed to be photographed or shot on video. However, Reiss expresses that he’s seen some interesting things with his class.

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Skulls of HSU’s Anatomy Lab.

“Most of the anatomy class here is focused on just learning the normal anatomy, but when something shows up it’s interesting,” Reiss said. “Some of the things we’ve seen are enlarged hearts, associated with congestive heart failure. The heart is extra big.”

Christopher Mardis-Ruelas is a student who believes in the right to privacy after seeing bodies be dissected. He’s seen some of the private things like an enlarged heart be presented from a donated body.

“If I was dead, I wouldn’t want people taking pictures of my dead body.” Mardis-Ruelas said.

Kimberley H. Pipe, the assistant director for the Body Donation Program at UC Davis, talked about why confidentiality is so important. She expresses it in the way of the deceased being a member of your family.

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John Reiss in HSU’s Anatomy Lab with classroom skeleton. Photo credit: Tyler Boydstun

“So, think about this. Your loved one, for example let’s say you have a mom who donated to our program, and someone decides to take a picture of your dead mother and then put it up on social media and it’s out there,” Pipe said. “Your deceased mother is, images of her deceased body, are out there on the internet. It’s disrespectful.”

Videography and photography are strictly forbidden in the

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John Reiss and Phillip Robinson in the Anatomy Lab at HSU. Photo credit: Tyler Boydstun

Anatomy Lab. If you visit the lab to see the cadavers, make sure it’s only to pay your respects.

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