The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 22, Issue 4, Winter 2022

Christopher K. Bresnahan, Rev. Nicanor Austriaco
Pages 633-640

A Catholic Ethical Analysis of Human Plastination

Plastination is a relatively novel technique wherein human tissue is dehydrated and the water is replaced with a plastic-like substance. The process is valuable to educational institutions, because it preserves the body for a long period of time, allowing for prolonged anatomical study. However, a number of ethical issues have been raised regarding the process, particularly related to the procurement of human specimens and the act of displaying these bodies, even for educational purposes. This article explores both the process itself and the associated ethical pitfalls, particularly from a Catholic perspective.