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Obvious concern

Regarding the Sept. 16 article Disgraced Anatomy?, it's important that the main concern is highlighted. As a health professional educated in part by dissecting and observing human cadavers, I find that the ethical concern is obvious here.

People who have donated their body (or body parts) to science in Canada have clearly consented in writing to the use of their body for specific educational or medical purposes. The company representing this exhibit should be able to fully guarantee that all humans displayed have clearly consented to the use of their body for the purposes of this exhibit.

If that is not the case then there is no place for this exhibit in Canada. The gold ethical and legal standards that Canadians (and others) cherish apparently are not being met.

Can we imagine the fallout in Canada if someone saw a relative in such an exhibit without permission? I have no issue with the concepts and purposes of this exhibit. I object, however, to profit being made from people who potentially have not consented to it. It's up to the company to prove to regulators that there were proper consents before going on tour. No loopholes allowed.

Kelly Milan



An error in reasoning is made if someone concludes that Premier Exhibitions is displaying the bodies of dead Chinese prisoners.

According to David Matas, we know that prisoners are being killed for the sale of their body parts in China. We also know that Premier Exhibitions buys unclaimed bodies from China for its shows. Dead Chinese prisoners are among these unclaimed bodies.

But the argument against Premier Exhibitions ignores evidence that is contrary to the conclusion stated above. It is known that a Chinese university laboratory provides Premier Exhibitions with documentation saying that the bodies it purchases are not those of prisoners.

Konan Michaelis



As a Celtic person and a conservative Catholic-Anglican, I find this Bodies event completely abhorrent and disrespectful to the dead. The best question is: Why did True North allow this shameful event to happen in our city?

I treat all the dead with respect, pray for them and I am reverent in graveyards. So this, indeed, does bother me. It smacks of 19th-century grave robbing for medical purposes. This event surely should not have happened. What a disgrace it is.



Database useless

We have been debating the issue of long-gun registration for months with both sides saying they are right.

I was with the Ontario Provincial Police for more than 33 years. I served in Kirkland Lake, Alliston, Red Lake, Dryden, Armstrong, Upsala and Vermilion Bay detachments. I never once used the firearms database to see if any household or any person in the house had a registered long gun.

As most police officers living and patrolling in a rural environment know, most home owners have rifles. They have them for hunting and for protection (mostly from roaming bears). Farmers have them for varmint problems and trappers also use them.

When a domestic call of any type is received, the first question you ask the dispatcher is how many people are involved and if there are any guns handy. I always used extreme caution when I approached the call and I always assumed they do have guns. The so-called database does not take into account any unregistered long guns that may be in the house.

If a person is going to commit a domestic assault with a long gun, he or she is not going to worry if the gun is registered or not.

I feel that most politicians are pandering to fears of the dwellers in large cities (where most of the votes are from) who have daily gun violence in their neighbourhoods. This violence is caused mainly by smuggled hand guns, not long guns.

John Kennedy

Dryden, Ont.


The City of Winnipeg's own chief of police, Keith McCaskill, has come out in support of the current federal gun registry. Why is local MP Shelly Glover, a former cop, against a policy that the person who is responsible for our city's public safety (and her former employer) supports?



Bleeding hearts

It is becoming quite nauseating to read letters from all the bleeding-heart sob sisters concerning the rights of Muslims, and also about the eccentric southern preacher who had threatened to burn copies of the Qur'an.

I have yet to read one word, however, in the Free Press or anywhere else, about the number of Christian churches that have been burned or bombed in Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country.

Neither have I read anything about the number of Christian clergy, also in Indonesia, who have had to gather their families and flee for their lives. This does not happen in Saudi Arabia or Syria, of course, because churches and synagogues are not allowed there in the first place.

Clarence R. Koss


Beyond Muslims

In a letter Sept. 16 (Responsible reactions), Steven Raber suggests that "Islamic terrorism" is a religious rather than political issue. I think he's right that there is a religious element.

But the dispute over world resources and our role in that as consumers is rarely if ever mentioned in public discussions about it. I think we (me included) need to take responsibility for our impact. This is why I find it unfair to suggest that it is the Muslim community alone that must publicly denounce the actions of their "members."



Hooray for hemp

Re: Winnipeg hemp foods company on a high (Sept. 10). As a culinary student and hemp activist, I have long expounded on the virtues of using hemp in our daily diet. For more than 3,000 years, hemp has been a staple in many cultures' diets worldwide.

Finally, it seems, the 70-year prohibition on hemp is going to end in the U.S. soon. I couldn't be happier. Unfortunately, hemp flour, which I love to use in baking, isn't widely available in the U.S., and I have to special order it through companies that charge up to $8 a pound plus shipping. Nutritionally speaking, hempseed flour is the healthiest flour a person can eat.

Thankfully, companies like Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils are paving the way for all the others that are sure to follow after hemp is legalized here in the States. Hopefully, once the moratorium on hemp is lifted the Manitoba company will be able to fully expand into my country.

Nutritionally speaking, hempseed flour is the healthiest flour a person can eat.


Cincinnati, Ohio

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 20, 2010 A13

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