Ethicist: 18th century ‘giant’ should be buried

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LONDON (AP) — Two experts say the skeleton of an 18th century man nicknamed the ‘Irish Giant’ should be removed from a museum and buried at sea in keeping with his last wishes.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, medical ethicist Len Doyal and lawyer Thomas Muinzer say there is no good scientific reason to display the skeleton of Charles Byrne, and a strong moral case against it.

Byrne stood about 7 feet, 7 inches (2.3 meters) tall, and died in 1783 at age 22. His skeleton was obtained by pioneering anatomist James Hunter, and is on display in London’s Hunterian Museum.

Museum director Sam Alberti said Thursday that the skeleton is still valuable to scientists, who have used Byrne’s DNA to help develop treatments for acromegaly, a hormonal disorder from which he suffered.