Body Snatching: The Robbing of Graves for the Education of Physicians in Early Nineteenth Century America
Also called "resurrectionists," body snatchers, were careful not to take anything from the grave but the body--stealing only the corpse was not considered a felony since the courts had already said that a dead body had no owner. ("Burking"--i.e., murder--was the alternative method of supplying "stiffs" to medical schools; it is covered here as well). This book recounts the practice of grave robbing for the medical education of American medical students and physicians during the late 1700s and 1800s in the US, why body snatching came about and how disinterment was done, and presents information on: efforts to prevent the practice, a group of professional grave robbers, and the European experience.
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Suzanne Shultz’s “Body Snatching: the robbing of graves for the education of physicians in early nineteenth century America” is the third book I have looked at for background on this unavoidable aspect of the history of medical education in the first half of the nineteenth century. The first, “A Traffic in Dead Bodies” by Michael Sappol was a post modern jumble of linguistic mumbo jumbo that I abandoned because, after several chapters, it never even approached the subject. The second was Harriet Washington’s fantastic book “Medical Apartheid” unfortunately for me the time period I was interested in was only a small part of her work. Although Schultz’s work is short, only 118 pages including the appendices, and covers much more that 19th century America, it contained everything I needed to continue my research and more. She manages to cover, medieval art anatomists, body snatching in fiction and poetry, professional snatchers and medical students amateur attempts at being resurrection men, and evidence that body snatching continued in areas of the United States well into the twentieth century. If your interests touch this subject I strongly recommend this little book.
JAMA -- From Grave Robbing to Gifting: Cadaver Supply in the ...
Body Snatching: The Robbing of Graves for the Education of Physicians in Early Nineteenth Century America. Jefferson, NC: mcfarland & Co; 1992. ...
jama.ama-assn.org/ cgi/ content/ full/ 287/ 9/ 1183
June JIMA 2006
7 Shultz SM — Body Snatching: The Robbing of Graves for the Education of Physicians in Early Nineteenth Century America. Jefferson, NC: mcfarland & Co, ...
www.jimaonline.org.in/ June2006/ june2006_11.htm
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