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Help! I don't want to participate in anatomy class dissections!

I'm in anatomy class at my school and I have to sign a syllabus saying that we have to participate in all the dissections which could include: sheep brains, pig hearts, fetal pig or rat, etc.  I go to a Catholic school so I don't know if I could say I 'm not going to do it because of my religion,which is what I did to get out of dissecting a rat when I was a freshman at a public school.  This is really upsetting to me because I want to take the class, but I don't feel comfortable with this.  Should I just do the dissections?  I'm asking because I want to do something in the health field, so this will come up again in college.  Plus, this teacher is a guy, and he's one of the strictest teachers in my whole school! Any suggestions?

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I think I'll probably be working with a partner, so I guess if I have to then I'll offer to do the notes.  I'm gonna try to get around having to do the dissection though.  

its not so much the cutting up the animals and learning something part its just the how do they go about getting those buckets of dead animals? I assume there just raised and killed for just this purpose it seems pretty cruel to me. Raise an animal kill it just so you can cut it open and see what inside? makes no sense to me. 

disections always a sketchy one in school too lets face it to some people its friggen repulsive. not everyone wants to grow up and be a surgeon for most a simple diagram is enough.

If you want to argue for alternative methods you could always say that we could use a virtual program instead :)

Yeah, I'm going to mention that when I offer to do an alternative assignment.  When I was a freshman I was allowed to do a paper assignment with a diagram of a rat instead of the dissection.  If my teacher doesn't think that's enough then I'll offer to buy a program or something.  

It should be ok.  You could talk to your guidance counselor first on how to bring up the subject with the teacher. 

I am surprised they are still doing this on a high school level.  Many school are starting to recognize the AR ethics and problems with dissections and no longer do this.  The school system I work for does not dissect anymore.  

May be you can be the change you want to see and encourage your school not to do it anymore, and show them alternatives like videos, graphics, plastic models, etc.  

We have access to great video tutorials and graphics that may be more detailed than a dissection anyways because then you actually learn how things work on a molecular level.  

If you go on to medical school, you may be required to dissect cadavers, but these are usually donated to science, and well, death happens to all of us;-D

This is a great site for ideas for diet and education...


I know they used to have a section against dissection, but have changed their site a bit.  You can try to look for it, google it, and if I find it,  I will come back here with the link.  

Good luck and Peace, PK

Kudos to you Katie!  And you are in good company...

"I abhor vivisection with my whole soul. I detest the unpardonable slaughter of innocent life in the name of science and humanity so called, and all of the scientific discoveries stained with innocent blood, I count as of no consequence." --Gandhi Y1, Dec. 17, 1925

GL with this one. When I was taking undergraduate classes, the anatomy class we had to do those dissections, then later in the semester ALL of our big exams were identifying hundreds upon hundreds of body parts on human cadavers. Pretty unusual to get human cadavers at a community college, but it was a big CC with lots of ties to large local universities. That class had a strange effect on me...I'll always remember the faded tattoos and the bag covering the head of the old lady my little group was studying.

Hi Katie

Good for you for fighting this!

These PETA-links also look pretty cool. They tell you how to go about the process step by step, including sample letters that you can use, and also answer some of the questions that might be put to you. Good luck!








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