The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on July 30, 2007 · Page 6
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 6

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Monday, July 30, 2007
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THE ENQUIRER A6 MONDAY, JULY 30, 2007 FROM PAGE Al Bodies: Museum plans exhibit of cadavers t X ? f , m , irJ W I ' IS i-; f 'smmmimmmMtMiAMtammmmmmmmim ii t 4 A,r- Tve been in museums for 30 years, and I can tell you I have never, ever, seen people so thoroughly engaged. I've never seen that kind of awe and wonder. ' Mike Day, senior VP Science Museum of Minnesota it shows the wonders of the human body. I would absolutely recommend it, especially because of the way it shows how not taking care of your body can hurt you." Even with morgue issues still a hot-button here in the wake of the scandal concerning Thomas Condon photographing posed corpses at the Hamilton County Morgue, Owens doesn't expect controversy. "The Condon photos were inappropriate and exploitative. This show is tasteful and respectful." Likewise, Museum Center CEO Douglass McDonald doesn't anticipate any problems. "We had a group of religious and community leaders in to discuss it before we even started pursuing it," he said. "Everyone agreed that it's a serious exhibit, and done with such reverence that it would be fully accepted in the community. I've seen five or six such shows, and I can assure you that the reaction is always the same: Amazement and no giggling or finger-pointing." McDonald describes it as "PG in nature" and doesn't anticipate age restrictions on it, though he recommends adult chaperones for the very young. Cadaver shows are not new. "Body Worlds" is the original such exhibit and has drawn more than 20 million visitors since 1996. "Mysteries of the Human Body," "Body Exploration" and "The Amazing Human Body" are all touring with similar success. Mike Day, senior vice president of St. Paul's Science Museum of Minnesota, said "Bodies" ran there for seven months in 2006 and attracted 745,000 visitors. Day's pre- From Page Al In some cases, bodies are partially dissected, bisected or trisected to give interior views. The organs - brain, lungs, liver, heart - are in varying states. For example: A smoker's lung is shown next to a non-smoker's lung to show the effects of tobacco. A cirrhotic liver is shown next to a healthy one to show the effects of excess alcohol. Two athletes are shown - one with a knee prosthesis, one with a steel plate in his thigh to repair a fractured femur. The bottom line of our exhibition is education ... to introduce people to themselves. We want people to see the complexities of their bodies ... (and) see in order to understand," Dr. Roy Glover, the exhibit's medical director, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer when the show was there in 2006. The bodies, obtained legally, are unclaimed and unidentified corpses from China, where the practice is to donate them to medical schools. Premier Exhibitions of Atlanta, the show's producer, has admitted it did not have permission of the subjects or their families, and that has led to controversy. When the show opened in Tampa, the Florida Anatomical Board, overseer of specimens for medical schools, voted 4-2 to withhold permission to open the show. It opened anyway, drew 623,000 visitors in five months and was extended twice. The Anatomical Board took no action. When it opened in Seattle in 2006, protests were voiced by the Columbus DispatchFred Squillante "Bodies ... The Exhibition" has attracted praise, criticism and large crowds around the country. The Cadavers are preserved by a process called plastination and displayed to show different bodily systems. University of Michigan's Center for the History of Medicine, Seattle's Museum of the Mysteries, the Wing Luke Asian Museum and dozens of bloggers, claiming bodies shouldn't be shown without permission of the deceased family, and that they may have been political prisoners. "Of course, there was no permission," said Tom Zaller, vice president of exhibitions for Premier. "These were unclaimed or unidentified bodies. There would be nowhere to go for permission." Such protests are not expected here. "I think it's a wonderful exhibit and a great opportunity for people with a non-medical background to get up close to the human body," said Hamilton County Coroner Dr. O'dell Owens, who has discussed the show with the Museum Center and community leaders for the past year. "The exhibit is tasteful in the way basic embalming, followed by dissection and replacement of fluids with acetone. Body parts are then immersed in a polymer mixture in a vacuum chamber where the polymer mix hardens into a rubber-like substance, permanently preserving the body. It's not clear how the exhibit will be organized here, but typically it's done in nine galleries, with each gallery devoted to a different system. The circulatory room, for example, shows a skinned cadaver to illustrate the body's network of blood vessels. The nervous-system room has one in a pose sug Nursing homes not to tell residents gested by Rodin's "Thinker," showing off the network of red, pink and beige nerves with a section of the skull sliced away to show the brain. Others show the muscle, reproductive, digestive and skeletal systems. The athletic poses have been especially popular. They are all designed to demonstrate muscle attachment and layering. "This is a view of the body no one ever sees," McDonald said. "Even people in the medical profession come away saying Wow, you never get to see the body this way.' " asked the facility to provide documentation that its residents are permanently disabled. If Greystone does not, city prosecutors said they will file lawsuits seeking to force the offenders to move because it's within 1,000 feet of the Stay Center, a Harrison Avenue home for juvenile delinquents. But the city decided not to follow through with at least one lawsuit last month because of a difficulty in proving the nursing home was within 1,000 feet of a school. "It's within our discretion because they need the long-term care," assistant city solicitor Tom Beridon said. "The main thing for the law is to protect children, and if they truly aren't a danger to children - because they can't go anywhere - we're not going to force the issue." But to Webster, the health care lawyer, it would be much more compassionate to allow frail and elderly sex offenders to live out their days in a nursing home. "Unless we're going to buy an island somewhere, and do what Britain did when they had Georgia and Australia, where do you draw the line?" he said. "There's never any forgiveness, never any tolerance, no rehab. It might as well be a death penalty." triple J7ane Available CHOOSE FROM: A A Drive West Chester indigent patients. One regulator said Carington's fees "appear to be wildly out of line," noting that the chain operated the 20 homes with the highest fees. That same week, an Ohio Department of Health inspection of Greystone noted that one sex offender had "unsupervised access to all areas of the facility" and was able to leave whenever he chose, until an allegation of "sexually inappropriate behavior" toward a female resident. He was later moved to a secure unit within the building, and Greystone told state inspectors that all sex offenders now live in a separate, locked section of the facility. The most recent inspection, in July 2006, found 10 deficiencies -about twice as many as comparable facilities - but did not address the issue of sex offenders. Cincinnati police reports detail three incidents of assaults at the home since 2005. One was an alleged sexual assault by a patient against an employee a year ago. None of the victims pressed charges, so it's unclear whether the suspects were registered sex offenders. Cincinnati's city solicitor has tried to thin the ranks of sex offenders at Greystone, and has hospitals, as the lawsuit claims. "As you may know, plaintiffs counsel oftentimes puts allegations in complaints that may or may not have any basis in fact," Carington lawyer Danny M. Newman Jr. said. "Other than that, this case is in active litigation, and I can't comment." Children protected, not elderly In theory, nursing homes aren't exempt from the sex offender registration and residency laws. But in practice, they mostly are. Sex offenders must register with the county sheriff, and the sheriff must notify neighbors in houses, apartments and condominiums when the most serious offenders -usually predators - move in. But if the offender is in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, he's not required to notify the residents - or even the manager. Nursing home residents aren't exempt from laws prohibiting sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school - but the law is sporadically enforced. Because the intent of the law is to protect children, frail offenders in nursing homes aren't always a priority for prosecutors. The nine sex offenders at Greystone range in age from 25 to 86. Only one is from Hamilton County. The others are mostly from rural areas as far away as Ashtabula County, in northeastern Ohio. Neighborhood leaders, advocates for the elderly and the city solicitor's office have voiced varying degrees of alarm to Greystone's management. "Carington is open about the fact that they market to the Department of Corrections," said Mary Day, managing ombudsman for Pro Seniors Inc., a nonprofit elder rights group. "They're nice people. They Carington is part owner. Twelve reside at Carington's Bryden Place in Columbus. Through separate companies, Carington also owns the Woods Edge Pointe nursing home in Bond Hill. The home shares a building and corporate ties with a sister facility, the Uptowne Residential Care Facility. In 2005, a sexual predator at Uptowne - already convicted of raping three women - raped and sodomized an 18-year-old mentally retarded woman early one morning. Rickey Smith, 45, is serving a three-year sentence in the Chilli-cothe Correctional Institution after pleading guilty to rape. "When she went in there, a week later she was raped," said the woman's father, of Fairfield. "No one ever checked to see whether the door was locked or unlocked, and he just walked right through at 4:30 in the morning." No one told the family that a predator lived there, he said. "I want to know whether they're in the nursing home so I can choose whether or not to put my daughter in there. We have a right to know," he said. "She's my daughter. And she deserved better than what she got." The family is suing Carington, alleging staffers failed to report the rape until the family visited. In court papers, a lawyer for Carington denied or claimed ignorance of almost all of the allegations in the rape case - including that the woman was raped. The company has argued that the family or their daughter are to blame for the assault - suggesting that if the door was unlocked, it was the victim who unlocked it. Carington denies it "actively sought placement of sexual offenders" from state prisons or mental itscommonlyjom70 vious attendance record was 350,000 for 1999's Titanic exhibit. 'Toward the end of the run, we had to stay open around the clock, 247, to accommodate visitors," Day said. "I've been in museums for 30 years, and I can tell you I have never, ever, seen people so thoroughly engaged. I've never seen that kind of awe and wonder." All the exhibits use plastination, a preservation process that requires about a year's work per body. It was developed in the 1970s by German scientist Gunther von Hagens, who also founded the "Body Worlds" show. It starts with required talk openly about what they do. It's all about empty beds. If you look at occupancy rates in Hamilton County, they're not high." Residents at Greystone say they were surprised to learn there were sex offenders living among them. "I had never heard of that," said Juanita Pettis, 78, a one-year resident. "They've been nice to me." "I watched stuff on the news and wondered about Greystone," said Michael Brandstetter, 54. "But actually, it's not surprising. Hell, they have everything else here. They have heavy-duty drunks, and dop-ers and stuff." Brandstetter, who suff ered a cerebral hemorrhage and is legally blind, said he otherwise doesn't have any complaints about the facility. "The food's good, and the bed's soft," he said. Filling empty beds Pro Seniors ombudsman Robert Vines told a House committee in May that Carington's hospitality to sex offenders was a "mutually beneficial arrangement" for the nursing home, the offender and the state. The offender, who can't get subsidized housing because of a felony record, gets a place to stay, Vines said. The state no longer has to pay the $67 a day, on average, it costs to feed and house prisoners. And the nursing home has one less empty bed, charging Medicare - a mostly federal program - for the cost. In May 2005, the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported that Carington executives were some of the biggest campaign contributors to state legislators - mostly Republicans - over the previous four years. At the same time, the newspaper reported, Carington billed taxpayers the highest fees for taking care of CD's MORTGAGES is rerprea nans uoci in mange am ubinciiuns may appiy. "BP Replacement Windows! Offenders: From Page Al "I think Grandma deserves the same rights as anyone else in the neighborhood when a sex offender moves in," Combs said. The biggest opposition, Combs said, has come from Greystone's owner, Carington Health Systems of West Chester. "They're very upset about this bill, which I don't understand," Combs said. "Other nursing homes in my district had no problem with it. It was all Carington. They're the ones bringing up the fuss." Representatives of Carington -from Greystone's manager to President Glyndon Powell of Hamilton -all declined comment, didn't return calls or could not be reached. The company's lawyer, Geoffrey Webster of Columbus, said he worried that the bill would conflict with patient privacy rights guaranteed by federal law. "If that facility has space and can meet their needs, the law requires they can be admitted. And that's a law that benefits your mom, my dad. ... It benefits us all," he said. And with 24-hour care provided at nursing homes, sex offenders are less of a danger there than anywhere except prison, Webster said. "I would be much more comfortable with mom at a nursing home with a sex offender down the hall than in independent living, or assisted living, or in an apartment," he said. Rape in facility Carington owns or operates 42 nursing facilities throughout Ohio, Those facilities account for almost half of all registered sex offenders living in Ohio nursing homes. In addition to the nine offenders at Greystone, 20 live at Carlton Manor in Washington Court House, where m Fifth Third bank 115 Cohort Auaiitty.in vmt . 3 'vw Every Thursday o-opm Jordan Crossing Featured Artist... 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