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beanbean

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Sounds like the press is digging into cadaver donation programs at other schools.

Donated Bodies Used in Land Mine Tests


By CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS - Seven cadavers donated to Tulane University's medical school were sold to the Army and blown up in land mine experiments, officials said Wednesday. Tulane said it has suspended dealings with a national distributor of donated bodies.



Tulane receives up to 150 cadavers a year from donors but needs only between 40 and 45 for classes, said Mary Bitner Anderson, co-director of the Tulane School of Medicine's Willed Body Program.


The university paid National Anatomical Service, a New York-based company that distributes bodies nationwide, less than $1,000 a body to deliver surplus cadavers, thinking they were going to medical schools in need of corpses.


The anatomical services company sold seven cadavers to the Army for between $25,000 and $30,000, said Chuck Dasey, a spokesman for the Army's Medical Research and Materiel Command in Fort Detrick, Md. The bodies were blown up in tests on protective footwear against land mines at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.


Tulane said it found out about the Army's use of the bodies in January 2003. It suspended its contract with the anatomical services company this month. The company did not immediately return calls for comment.


"There is a legitimate need for medical research and cadavers are one of the models that help medical researchers find out valuable information," Dasey said. "Our position is that it is a regulated process. Obviously it makes some people uncomfortable."


Cadaver remains are routinely cremated, he added.


For years military researchers have bought cadavers to use in research involving explosive devices. In the last five years, that research has been used to help determine safe standoff distances, on how to build the best shelters, and to improve helmets, Dasey said.


Michael Meyer, a philosophy professor at Santa Clara University in California who has written about the ethics of donated bodies, said the military's use is questionable because it knows donors did not expect to end up in land mine tests.


"Imagine if your mother had said all her life that she wanted her body to be used for science, and then her body was used to test land mines. I think that is disturbing, and I think there are some moral problems with deception here," Meyers said.


The market in bodies and body parts is under scrutiny after two men, including the head of the Willed Body Program at the University of California at Los Angeles, were arrested for trafficking in stolen body parts.
 

fullefect1

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This is very much a different story then the UC issue. The company was selling these to the army, which seems to be legal in doing there transactions. But still, this is very relevant, and I wouldn't want to have my body blown up by land mines.
 

ddmo

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If the reporters would read "Stiff" by Mary Roach they would realize this is nothing new. Cadavers have and are used in a variety of different studies outside of anatomy labs. The studies range from the impact a bullet will have, to the design of crash test dummies, to monitoring the decay of corpses in different environments.
 
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SoulRFlare

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i was just thinking today...we may very well be one of the last groups of students to use cadavers...i wouldn't be suprised if these scandals lead to prosection/computer model use across the range of medical schools
 

Sharkfan

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Originally posted by SoulRFlare
i was just thinking today...we may very well be one of the last groups of students to use cadavers...i wouldn't be suprised if these scandals lead to prosection/computer model use across the range of medical schools


Yeppers...
 

beanbean

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The two brothers that run the anatomy lab at UCONN are really top-notch. They treat the bodies with respect and are very professional. As organs or body parts are removed during the dissection, they will label and bag the part so that it will be cremated with the rest of the body at the end of the year.

We are given medical and social histories for our cadavers and l(ike many schools) have a memorial service at the end of the year.

The person who donated their body to UCONN and became my cadaver has given me a tremendous gift and I will be eternally grateful.

I hope that the problems at UCLA are an isolated incident. However, stories such as this one about Tulane will certainly inflame general public opinion against donation. No one wants to think about Grandma who freely gave her body to educate medical students and ended up being sold into the Army to be blown to pieces. Even if it is legal, it creates a very negative image for med schools.

Deirdre
 
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deleted4401

How is Tulane to blame?

They just bought from this company ... were they supposed to investigate where the rest of the company's sales were going to do? That's a strange association to make, especially the title of the post: "Cadaver Scandal is spreading - Tulane" ... some false advertising, you know?

If anything, they're helping to stop it, by suspending purchases from the organization ...

Simul
 

beanbean

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I don't mean to imply anything negative about Tulane at all. I put Tulane in the title so that people interested in Tulune would read the article and to draw attention to the fact that other schools are now being effected by what happened at UCLA. It angers me that just because several people at UCLA did some very unethical things the media is going to run stories like this and undermine the credibility of many excellent anatomy programs at other med schools. As you said Tulane is trying to do the right thing here and yet this article is very inflammatory.

The allegations about UCLA are horrible and I really feel for the students there who have done nothing wrong and are trying to continue their anatomy studies with all of this happening around them.

I know many students feel that the process of dissection is low-yield and time consuming, but for me it has been invaluable. I am not interested in surgery so the actual cutting skills are not so important to me; however, the whole process has enabled me to visualize and understand structures so much more clearly than if I only had a prossection and a computer.
 

MErc44

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i don't understand how people can think anatomy is low yield. I for one am anxiously awaiting gross anatomy next year and hope to be taking it at Tulane.
 

juddson

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Aren't there more people on this planet like me, who don't give two ****s what happens to our bodies once we are done with them? Using me as a crash test dummy is only slightly less important than for medical research. I care not either way.

Judd
 

gioia

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Juddson has point: Some people don't care what happens to their bodies when they die.

Some people do.

There should be simple designations: Cadavers for science and Cadavers for technology. There is nothing wrong with that. People are more than happy to donate their cadavers to the Body Farm where they know forensics research is conducted. And I am sure people wouldn't mind donating for the purpose of technological advances either.

The problem is the making of THOUSANDS of dollars off trading dead bodies, which UC (and I'm sorry to say, Tulane) have done.

Who wants to know that a school made thousands of dollars selling their loved one to a formerly undesignated third party?

Selling bodies or body parts is illegal. If caught selling, say, your kidney overseas you would suffer severe consequences, both with the US and the WHO.
 

ewing

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Originally posted by gioia
Juddson has point: Some people don't care what happens to their bodies when they die.

Some people do.

There should be simple designations: Cadavers for science and Cadavers for technology. There is nothing wrong with that. People are more than happy to donate their cadavers to the Body Farm where they know forensics research is conducted. And I am sure people wouldn't mind donating for the purpose of technological advances either.

The problem is the making of THOUSANDS of dollars off trading dead bodies, which UC (and I'm sorry to say, Tulane) have done.

Who wants to know that a school made thousands of dollars selling their loved one to a formerly undesignated third party?

Selling bodies or body parts is illegal. If caught selling, say, your kidney overseas you would suffer severe consequences, both with the US and the WHO.

You can't sell your own kidney?! Haven't these punks ever read John Locke?
 

Harps

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Originally posted by MErc44
i don't understand how people can think anatomy is low yield.

If, by anatomy, you mean mean dissections.....read on :)

Well, most of us, form our opinions about the "relevance" of dissection in anatomy labs after speaking with 1st year medical students and those who have been through these classes. From the students I've spoken to, there is almost a consensus that dissection is a rather arcane practice, which "yields" little practical value in the clinics for those interested in specialities besides surgery. And students who are interested in surgery may take an elective to perform dissections.

As many on SDN post, these are my few cents on this subject.

Prosections all the way!! :)

-Harps
 

exmike

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Originally posted by MErc44
i don't understand how people can think anatomy is low yield. I for one am anxiously awaiting gross anatomy next year and hope to be taking it at Tulane.

You havent taken it yet, how can you make an informed judgement on the value of anatomy.
 

gioia

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You can't sell your own kidney?! Haven't these punks ever read John Locke?

I'm not a 'punk', just merely posting policy- though policy is not always adhered to.
 

Chrisobean

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interestingly enough, the guy who runs the National Anatomical Service owns the funeral home closest to my house... remind me to not allow my family to use his parlor anymore...
 

ad_sharp

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I've had the opportunity to dissect two cadavers for my school's human anatomy lab where I worked as the lab teaching assistant. I fear that these scandals will take away this great opportunity for future students. I have mucho respect for those people who donate their bodies to science and I try to treat the body with as much dignity as the act of dissection will allow.

When I attend OU in the fall, they will provide a brief history of the cadaver that I will be working on and I will actually meet the family of the person who donated the body to personally thank them for their sacrifice. I thought that this policy sounded strange at first, but I like the idea of being able to interact with the cadaver beyond the dissection. When we are practicing medicine, we will be working of live people with real families that care about them. I think that this will add a little humanity to the inhumanity associated with anatomy lab.
 

ewing

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Originally posted by gioia
You can't sell your own kidney?! Haven't these punks ever read John Locke?

I'm not a 'punk', just merely posting policy- though policy is not always adhered to.

I know you're not a punk. I was refering to the WHO, et al. It seems to me that private people should have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies. If I want to sell my left testicle on EBay, who is to tell me that I'm wrong?

Doctors, on the other hand, are part of a regulated profession. They should have restrictions on whom they treat and under what circumstances. E.g. NYU's ethics panel says they won't knowingly provide post-transplant care to someone who got a kiney transplant in China -- The assumption is that a good number of Chinese kidneys come from executed (political) prisoners, not willing donors.

So, I think people should be allowed to sell their bodies (organs while they're alive or the whole thing after death), but that doctors and medical schools should only accept donations of such things. The sold ones can be used for industry, cooking, or whatnot.

Just my $.02
 

cupcake_queen

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I'm surprised how no one has mentioned how much money one can get from selling body parts. I recently read the article, "The Resurrection Men: Scenes from the Cadaver Trade" by Annie Cheney in Harper's magazine. I suggest anyone who can get a hold of this current issue of Harper's to read it. After reading this article and Googling a little to find out its legitimacy, I've changed my mind about that little "donor" sticker in my driver license. I'm not sure if I'm the only one but I do not want to donate my body parts so a bunch of crooks can get rich!!!

Here's something from the Washington Post: (Please note that I am referring to Harper's magazine NOT Harper's Bazaar)


"Harper's Bizarre Bazaar

The director of the cadaver program at the UCLA medical school was arrested Saturday for allegedly stealing corpses and selling them piece by piece to research labs.

That's shocking -- unless you've read the March issue of Harper's, which contains "The Resurrection Men," Annie Cheney's eye-opening expos? of what she calls "the cadaver trade."

"Like stolen cars and personal computers, cadavers are worth more in pieces than they are intact," Cheney writes in this astonishing article, which is definitely not for the squeamish. "A good technician can strip a human body in a little less than an hour and sell the parts to university researchers and surgical equipment companies for close to $10,000."

Cheney reports what happens to these hacked-up corpses and it isn't pretty. In deference to readers who might be eating breakfast right now, I won't go into the gory details, such as the story of the dripping FedEx packages.

I'll just say this: If you have a strong stomach and a macabre mind, you'll love this story. More than any article on newsstands today, it'll give you a reason to go on living."
 

MErc44

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Originally posted by exmike
You havent taken it yet, how can you make an informed judgement on the value of anatomy.


Alot of that goes on around here. Uninformed judgements
 
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