A programme of debates exploring issues around permission and consent, donation and participation, art and ethics, science and research.
Should people be allowed to donate parts of their body to an artist? Is it right for galleries to exhibit artwork made of real human bones, teeth or fat? Who owns our body parts when they are removed from us? Does the use of human tissue in art serve any purpose, or is this just sensationalism?
Should this type of art require formal approval?
At present, there are strict ethical rules relating to the use of human tissue from living people.
Doctors and medical researchers must follow codes of conduct; seek ethical approval from the Human Tissue Authority, and obtain consent from individuals to use tissue from living donors, for example, to use tumour biopsy samples for scientific research.
However, there is no ethical committee that has the authority to decide whether anyone else, an artist or museum curator for example, can obtain tissue from living consenting donors, for the purpose of making art and displaying it.
The Wasted public debate seeks to open up a discussion about the ethics of ‘bio-art’ with a wider audience.
ATTENDEES meeting 1
Sara Jane Parsons