ALL ANATOMICAL SPECIMENS, on display in the BODY WORLDS exhibitions ARE REAL.
They belonged to people who declared during their lifetime that their bodies should be made available after their deaths for the training of physicians and the instruction of laypersons.
Many donors underscore that by donating their body, they want to be useful to others even after their death. Their selfless donations allow us to gain unique insights into the human body, which had previously been reserved for physicians. Therefore, we wish to thank the living and deceased body donors.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany is the administrator of the body donation program for Plastination. It has a roster of 17,286 registered body donors (as of Jan. 2017), the majority of the donors are German.
NUMBER OF BODY DONORS
|Europe (including Germany)||15,871|
|America (North-, Mid- and South-America)||1,389|
All whole-body, plastinated specimens on display in Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS Vital exhibition stem from a special body donation program established in Heidelberg, Germany in the early 1980s, later managed by the Institute for Plastination. Today, the Institute for Plastination administers a donor roster of more than 17,000 individuals, who have willed their bodies to the Institute for public medical education. Over 2,000 of them are already deceased. The donor roster includes mainly Germans and North Americans, and even living donors from Australia and New Zealand.
The Institute for Plastination’s body donation program and all documents relating to it are reviewed annually by the City of Heidelberg in Germany. A local notary regularly confirms the authenticity of the documents, such as death certificates and consent forms.
All documents have been scrutinized and approved by numerous institutions around the world.