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Pa. Boy Faints at Sight of Cadaver’s Arm

January 8, 2004

FOX CHAPEL, Pa. (AP) _ A parent brought a human cadaver arm to an elementary school and opened it up during a discussion about surgery, causing a fifth grader to faint. Other students also felt ill, and some parents complained to the Fox Chapel School District, which promised to review the situation, school officials said.

The limb was brought in Tuesday by Dr. Michael Horowitz, a neurosurgeon whose child attends Fairview Elementary School in Fox Chapel, an upscale suburb about five miles east of Pittsburgh.

Horowitz was using the arm as a visual aid for a discussion about the 1875 Thomas Eakins painting ``The Gross Clinic,″ which shows a medical school’s doctor removing diseased bone from a patient’s thigh. A 19th century art critic called the work ``a picture that even strong men find it difficult to look at long, if they can look at it at all.″

During the discussion, Horowitz opened the cadaver arm to show students the nerves and other parts.

Horowitz said he was surprised by the complaints, saying he’s visited the school in the past with cadaver ears, eyes and a brain.

The district has received no complaints about Horowitz’s past visits but will review his most recent one to determine whether it was appropriate for fifth graders, district spokeswoman Bonnie Berzonski said.

The boy who fainted had passed out for about 10 to 20 seconds, Berzonski told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He was back in school Wednesday, she said.


On the Net:

Artwork: http://www.metmuseum.org/special/Thomas_Eakins/4.r.htm

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