High School Girl Takes Selfie with Cadaver, Wins Our Vote for Most Repulsive Selfie

And the award for most repugnant and moronic selfie of the year (or maybe decade?) goes to… an Alabama High School senior who, earlier this week, decided it would be okay to completely ignore rules she was explicitly informed about (not to mention any shred of common decency) in order to take a selfie with a cadaver in a University of Alabama at Birmingham anatomy lab.

You’ll have to excuse the smoke coming out of my ears, but as a former medical student at UAB who was privileged to learn anatomy by working with one of these cadavers — each of which selflessly DONATED their bodies to science — this high school senior’s actions disgust me to the Nth degree.

According to a report by WHNT News 19, the details are as follows. While on a field trip to visit the UAB Biology department on Monday of this week, a Clements High School senior removed the sheet off of one of the cadavers in the anatomy lab and snapped a selfie with the donor’s body.

The selfie was later removed from Instagram, but not before a classmate took a screenshot and showed it to her older sibling, who notified their parents and, through them, UAB administration.

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 11.06.25 AM

“We are speaking to the University of Alabama Birmingham, they are understandably upset with this incident and we want to preserve our relationship with the university,” Limestone County School Board Director of Public Relations and Technology Karen Tucker told WHNT. “Therefore we are speaking to them and wanting to know how we can mend this process and keep our relationship with them, and we are in the process of deciding on the discipline that will occur.”

That first sentence, dear readers, is the understatement of the century. When we were first shown the anatomy lab as medical students, it was made clear that we would be immediately kicked out of medical school if we ever took any pictures (much less a smiling selfie) in the lab.

UAB takes its donor program extremely seriously, treating each donor and their families with the utmost respect. The students even host a memorial service at the end of the year to honor the donors; a service to which the families are invited so that they might understand the positive impact their loved one’s decision has made.

So, you see, when WHNT says that they couldn’t confirm whether or not this unidentified student had been suspended, I scoff, because suspension in this case is akin to a slap on the wrist for being pulled over driving drunk.

This is one selfie that, in this editor’s opinion, should get the young lady expelled… and only after she delivers a face-to-face apology to the donor’s family.

(via United Press International)

  • Zet

    As far as selfies go this is probably on of the better one. Screw the moral high horse they and former medical students rode in on. MOAR slfies with cadavers!

  • iowapipe

    WOW – expulsion ? Having her lose a year of schooling, screwing up her graduation plans? (college is a possible assumption for her plans in the Fall) It is soooo easy to make these kinds of suggestions/demands, but how about something more along the lines of allowing her to keep her life plans going yet making amends that drive the point home. Ridiculous is a word that comes to mind when I think of your desire Mr. Editor.

  • wylun

    nothing will probably happen to her~ and that is a sad truth~

  • Peter “Pots”

    There isn’t much respect left in this world. Ignorance seems to rule!

  • Matt

    How is the remotely offensive? Who cares, it is a body! Nothing more.

  • araczynski

    speaking of “akin to a slap on the wrist for being pulled over driving drunk” just heard on the radio on my way to work some 73 year old guy got arrested for the 15th time driving drunk (since 1960 something), license has been suspended one of the previous times, not that it really matters apparently. So yeah, “justice” is relative I suppose. I wouldn’t ruin her life over this incident, but I would make her clean the labs after class for a year :)

  • Jake

    So are you. So nobody cares about you, do they?

    That “body” is a person with relatives who would be offended and the school takes these people dedicating their remains to science very seriously.

  • amish

    To be honest, many medical students have a shot like this when in the anatomy lab. The only difference is that it’s not uploaded anywhere.

  • DLCade

    I grant you, perhaps it’s an overreaction. I readily admit that I have a personal connection to this lab and school, and so it’s impossible for me to be objective.

    In real life, actions have consequences, and that’s a lesson I, personally, believe she should learn. She went out of her way to do this (the bodies were even covered up and they were told explicitly not to uncover them). As medical students they would have kicked us out of school and effectively destroyed our medical career for doing this. Is it that much of a stretch to suggest that a high school senior lose a year?

    Again, I don’t claim to be objective, simply stating an opinion. Ridiculous though it may be.

  • matt

    Thanks Jake. That “person” has long since left that vessel.

  • Daz

    once dead its no longer a person just waste that will be decompose and recycled into nature why not use it for science?

  • mary

    Kids today.

  • AlwaysCurious

    While I agree absolutely it was egregious, horrible, etc. Yes! As a medical professional you are familiar with adolescent brain development. While I agree punishment should be harsh, very harsh, perhaps including expulsion, I don’t believe it should go on her permanent record (if coupled with expulsion that’s even possible).. MHO.

  • Stan B.

    Do you have any loved ones, Matt? Agreed, the cadaver is just a rotting piece of biomass, but would you feel comfortable with someone doing that with your mother’s body, your wife’s? Most people wouldn’t.

    These people were considerate enough to lend their bodies to science, their memory and life lived deserve some modicum of respect.

  • David Liang

    You don’t need to understand why it’s offensive to others, just that it can be. The University clearly understands this and has guidelines in place to keep uphold a level of respect. Something this selfie taking girl has none for, not for the rules, not for the university and certainly not for anyone related to the cadaver.

  • Mike

    The human body is beautiful.

  • iowapipe

    I think an understanding of the situation she would be facing is in order. It just isn’t the loss of a year, she could have her college path totally derailed and be forced to seek education at another institution that wouldn’t have been a first choice (for any variety of reasons). I’m not claiming to know her plans or aspirations. If she committed something illegal, then those are consequences to be faced with applicable repercussions. But meddling with the already somewhat fragile transition from childhood to early adulthood (which is exactly what the entrance to college entails) is a serious matter. If we are talking about appropriate respect for the dead, the deceased’s family and such, then let the educational part of the punishment drive that home. If she has somehow radically changed the life course of another individual, then that is a far more serious matter. (which is akin to what you initially suggested be her punishment) When you entered medical school you signed a code of conduct, she hasn’t signed such an agreement. Your punishment would have been according to that code. Let her punishment be appropriate to her situation. It isn’t ‘just a year’ for her.

  • Jake

    I get the feeling that none of your close friends or relatives have died. Or you’re just a particularly existentialist individual.

  • russianbox

    way to over react everybody, She took a photo with something you don’t really get to see, big deal. Go home

  • OtterMatt

    If you want to “meddle” with the mind of a child, then reinforce the notion that the things they do don’t have any serious real-world consequences. It’s not just a violation of school rules, here. We’re talking about a blatant ignorance of the rules COUPLED with an extreme and distasteful lack of care about another human being. It’s beyond disrespectful, it’s down right horrific. I very much agree that her punishment should fit her crime, so to speak, but I hold her acts in a MUCH harsher light.

  • 4dmaze

    Every day I see people draped with the skins of animals that were ripped off of their bodies just for decoration. This girl just took a photo of a human body and is paying a steep price. I think we need to stand back a bit and really assess our overly fond view of our importance.

  • cl

    In my experience at UAB Medical School, we are held to very high standard of professionalism (as we should be). We are taught to treat the cadavers with respect, and have been warned of the consequences that we face if these standards are not met. Our anatomical donor program is fantastic, and I am saddened that this happened at our school. Please do not let this isolated incident give our school and anatomical donor program a bad name.

  • supadupaemmy

    Disrespectful little pig! I would be mortified if I was a family member of the donor. Throw her out! What future does she have if she does not respect others. All in all she is a disgusting human being that should be treated like everyone else. I hope the family litigate against her. How rude!

  • iowapipe

    Who implied that “the things they do don’t have any serious real-world consequences” should be the route taken? Nobody. Be reasonable.

  • Daz

    why don’t people get that its just a damn body its not alive so why do people care ?

  • Daz

    Yup this is the same as when you see those idiots hunting animals and then taking a picture of them selfs with the animal they just killed.

  • Christopher Panlilio


  • matt

    I have spent a good part of my time working in central and s. africa and have seen more bodies and smelled more dead than I care to — perhaps these experiences have provided me a different impression of the physical body. It was an unfortunate choice by a student, in poor taste, yes, but absolutely no reason to inflict animus towards a person. If this had been a simple photo of a cadaver and a student absent the selfish vanity no one would care about the cadavers family and loved ones.

  • matthedouchebag

    I couldn’t agree more. You said it perfectly. Thanks to exist. In this world of ignorance, stupidity, cultureless, and careless, it has been a real pleasure to notice you have some people, still, are human.

  • Bone Wilder

    Are you people serious. Expulsion? I am glad your 2 bit worthless e-crap website is just as irrelevant as a selfie with a dead guy. Pick a worth while cause you no good losers.

  • Bill

    Yeah she’s hot!

  • Cynical Bloke

    It’s just a picture. It’s just a human. If this was a dead animal no one would care.

  • Cynical Bloke

    Driving drunk can kill someone. Taking a selfie will never kill anyone. How can the 2 be in the same sentence?

  • Cynical Bloke

    She can be taught respect in a better way than ruining her whole life. That punishment would not fit the crime. Detention is the way.

  • MickO

    What’s the stupidest thing you ever did? Please share with us so that we may decide your fate — you know, with our opinions.

  • Adol

    Which part of these sentence ,you can’t understand ? ” When we were first shown the anatomy lab as medical students, it was made clear that we would be immediately kicked out of medical school if we ever took any pictures (much less a smiling selfie) in the lab ”

    She broke the rules, Why we should bend the rules ?

  • necromancer

    You’re so disgusted that you posted the pic twice. Did it get you hard too?

  • rashid

    she’s got a really nice smile

  • Jake

    Well your first point proves mine. I’m not sure if you personally knew these dead bodies but it sounds to me, as I said, that you have no emotional tie to them. As someone who has lost loved ones, I can assure you I would be mortified to see some random chick taking a “cute” selfie with one of them. And if she’s not punished or reprimanded for these actions now, she will think that such tastelessness is perfectly okay until she possibly learns better from personal experience or maturity, and hopefully not offending others along the way. But the “selfish vanity” that you write off is exactly what’s at issue here.

  • Matt Wheeler

    I thought that was just one of the filter options…

  • norbe

    The bigger question is: which University of Alabama at Birmingham employee thought it would be a good idea to leave teenagers unattended with cadavers?

    High school students are known for occasionally making bad choices. It’s the role of adults, especially adults responsible for medical programs, to stop them from making stupid mistakes.

    The girl should receive a slap on the wrist. And so should the employee who left her alone with cadaver.

  • rw

    wow! I see that people don’t really grasp the meaning of a selfie. It is just the new form of tourism. It goes by the idea: I was here and seen this. That is what this selfie means. By the extension of this, this cannot be offensive, as she had clearly been there and granted permission to see the body.

  • Robert Johnson

    Wow a bit over dramatic on the replies.

  • Patrik

    Fuji Xt1 would be better

  • krod2013

    Wow…Congratulations on your ill-conceived, callous and cavalier comment.

    Yes, that is a body. That body however used to house a soul and lived a life of its own. It could have been a father or mother, sister or brother, or someones child who died too soon.

    Hypothetically speaking, If that cadaver was my teenage son who’s life was tragically cut short and I saw a selfie photograph where he was used as a mere photographic prop – a novelty deserving to be captured in a horribly tasteless selfie, “Hey guys, look at me, I’m sitting next to some dead guy…I’m Awesome!!” I would be incensed and simultaneously driven to the depths of despair because to me, that’s not just a body. It is SOMETHING MORE. It’s my son.

  • comeone…seriously


  • wialno28

    I wouldn’t consider suspension a slap on the wrist. Where I went to school, those types of disciplinary matters had to be disclosed on college applications. It could have a serious impact on her ability to go to school. I think such a punishment, plus the public shaming she’s gotten, is more than enough to drive the point home. At least, it would have been for me.

  • krod2013

    I wouldn’t expect you to really understand… not the way I do.

  • Mark Joll

    At first I was on the “expulsion” side, but you are correct. A bad snap of judgement on this girl’s part shouldn’t rank up there as something that needs to mess up her life. I think your idea of making amends is the right path to take. Perhaps simply washing some of those sheets or sweeping the floors at the lab for a week or so would get the point across adequately.

  • JT

    The consequences need to be swift and severe. This includes her name getting out and her parents being bombarded by reporters questioning their parenting.

    She is a budding sociopath who is not capable of feeling remorse, so the focus needs to be on maintaining a level of respect for those hurt by this and sends a message how unacceptable it is to anyone else (capable of feelings) to think twice in the future.

    I guarantee if her history is researched we won’t be surprised by how it came to this. Her smile is simply to evil for this to be a badly thought out high school prank.

    And yes, I’m a family therapist and so I speak from a FULL understanding of the adolescent brain, individual psychology and family dynamics. This will NOT be her last super insensitive act I assure you.