Crash-test cadavers?

Just read an article that car companies use cadavers as well as dummies to test seat belts, airbags, &c because they give a more accurate info about tissue damage.

Is this licit? I know the Church doesn’t forbid, say, donating one’s body to a medical school for anatomy classes but this besides a huge “yuck” factor this seems to violate the teaching that even a dead body needs to be treated with a certain level of respect.

from the article:

The car companies would like to eliminate the need for cadaver tests. They use virtual modelling extensively because it is cheaper and raises few ethical issues. But testing with real bodies is still necessary to capture how human tissue responds to catastrophic injuries. There are other needs as well. Cadaver tests are being used to design football helmets to decrease the danger of concussion and how to protect soldiers from traumatic brain injuries. ~ Wired, Aug 31

In my mind, it would not only be licit but a good use of my body after death. The Church, as you pointed out, has no problem with using a (dead) body for medical research.

My opinion is that this is medical research since the data is being used to save the lives of humans that are living, and minimize the pain and suffering if there is an accident. It is an act of charity to allow your body to be used for the betterment of living human beings in my mind.

My thoughts exactly.

First off, I wouldn’t donate myself to this. But neither would I donate my body to medical college, nor for organ transplants. Period.

That said, to me, these experiments and the medical-college use of the body are basically the same. Both involve the mutilation of a human being, who is already dead and therefore cannot be further harmed, in order to advance knowledge that can help others. That in one case the knowledge is for professional education, and in the other for the collective medical knowledge base, is just a difference of detail. It’s still medical knowledge.


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