HL Deb 28 March 1828 vol 18 c1357

Their lordships having gone into a Committee on this bill,

The Marquis of Lansdowne

proposed, that the words in the different clauses, which went to give the "bodies of murderers and other criminals to be dissected," should be left out of the bill. His object in proposing to leave out these words was, to remove the stigma which now attached to dissection. He had had some correspondence with medical men on the subject, and they were of opinion, that the little assistance they derived from this source did not counterbalance the effects which the stigma of condemning criminals to dissection had in deterring people from giving their bodies for dissection. If this stigma were done away, he thought something would be done to promote the improvement in a branch of knowledge which was essential to the public.

The Earl of Rosebery

supported the amendment. He had been a commissioner to inquire into the state of the University of Edinburgh, and had an opportunity of knowing that the difficulty of procuring subjects caused numbers of students to go abroad, and prevented those who remained at home from obtaining a complete education.

Lord Tenterden

concurred in the amendment, and said it had been his intention to propose it. In assenting to it, however, he wished it to be considered that it was of great importance to encourage a respect for the dead, and that any thing which lessened that respect would be highly improper.

The amendment was agreed to.