CADAVERGATE - UCLA trafficking in human body parts

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by Dr. Jai Maharaj, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. Two held in UCLA cadaver scandal

    BBC Monday, March 8, 2004

    Two men have been arrested in Los Angeles for allegedly
    stealing and selling corpses donated for research at a top
    US medical school.

    Ernest Nelson, 46, is quoted by the Los Angeles Times as
    saying he took bodies from the university, UCLA, with the
    full knowledge of staff there.

    Henry Reid, 54, head of UCLA's willed-body programme, was
    also arrested.

    UCLA apologised for the unauthorised sale of body parts, but
    denied top bosses knew about the arrangement.

    [Caption] The body parts were for use in medical training
    and research

    Mr Nelson has been quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying
    that he went to UCLA's body freezer at the medical school
    twice a week for six years - cutting up around 800 bodies.

    He collected knees, hands, torsos and other body parts
    needed for his corporate clients, the paper quoted him
    as saying.

    Protocol

    He claimed he had followed a protocol that was set out by Mr
    Reid, and was known to other UCLA officials.

    "I call one of the most prestigious universities in the
    world, their director gives me the protocol, I follow that
    protocol and they charge me with receiving stolen body
    parts?" he was quoted as saying in the Times.

    "Any illegal commercialisation would violate the trust of
    donors, families and UCLA. We are deeply sorry"
    - Gerald Levey Dean of UCLA's medical school

    "If I wasn't supposed to be there, why couldn't they tell me
    that? It was not done in secret," he reportedly said.

    He was arrested by police on Sunday on suspicion of
    receiving stolen body parts and selling them on to research
    corporations.

    Mr Reid was detained a day earlier for allegedly selling the
    corpses and body parts for profit. He was released from jail
    after posting $20,000 bail.

    At a press conference, UCLA officials said they were trying
    to track down all the body parts sold to Mr Nelson, and to
    make sure they were used for medical research at the private
    facilities.

    "The ongoing investigation will focus on verifying that,"
    said Gerald Levey, dean of the David Geffen School of
    Medicine at UCLA.

    "Nonetheless, any illegal commercialisation would have
    violated the trust of the donors, the families and UCLA. We
    are deeply sorry."

    They denied Mr Nelson's claims that the university's top
    officials were familiar with his arrangement, and also
    disputed the number of bodies he says he cut up.

    More at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3545025.stm

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