Morgue, Anatomical Theatre, Crematory: What is Inadmissible?

  1. Lemma
  2. Морг, анатомический театр, крематорий: что недопустимо
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ethics - Scientific theories and disciplines > Medicine
  6. 27-06-2018
  7. Першин, Михаил [Author]. Морг, анатомический театр, крематорий: что недопустимо?
  8. Православие.Ru
  9. medicine - Russian Orthodoxy - resurrection - Soviet Union - ethics - death - cremation - abortion - euthanasia
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Першин, Михаил (2004). Морг, анатомический театр, крематорий: что недопустимо? <em>Православие.Ru.</em> Retrieved from: <a href=""></a> </p>
    1. The author argues that not all manipulations are admissible with dead people’s bodies, even though this principle was violated in the 1920 and 1930s in the Soviet Union. Even then however, ethical norms existed and urged doctors to treat dead people’s bodies with respect. This ethical code is rooted, according to the author, in Christian tradition.

      As far as medical ethics is concerned, Christianity believes that a human being always retains his/her personality, no matter how old the person is or how deeply the personality is affected by illness. That is why medical interferences into human life such as abortion or euthanasia are unacceptable. This idea also affects the way medical students and professionals should treat and manipulate corpses in morgues and anatomical theatres. Contrary to Hellenistic or Hindu traditions that have opposed body and soul and tended to see the body as something inferior and even worthless, Christianity considers corporality to be a bliss, rather than a curse. This is why in the Orthodox Christian tradition the body of a dead person is seen as something sacred.

      At the same time first Christians did not believe that destroying (cremating for example) a dead person’s body could hamper his or her future Resurrection. Orthodox Christians believe that manipulations of dead bodies cannot harm dead people. In fact pathological anatomy has a three hundred years old history in Russia, which is longer than in any country of Western Europe where autopsies were still a semi-legal practice as late as the 19th century.

      However, the Orthodox Church maintains that disrespectful manipulations of dead people’s bodies represents a threat to those who produce these manipulations. For example, disrespectful treatment of corpses by students can potentially penetrate into their treatment of living patients. If one believes in God, he or she can expect meeting a dead person he or she had manipulated after everyone resurrects. The same holds true for cremation. It cannot damage the soul of a dead person. It is nonetheless important to avoid cremation for the sake of dead person’s family and friends as entombment makes them think about the reality of Resurrection. That is why the Orthodox Church recommends avoiding cremation when possible.