Reuters: UCLA Shuts Down Scandal-Plagued Cadaver Program

Yogi Bear

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here's some pertinent info for current applicants. :idea: so don't shut this thread down and move it to your forum drmom. :hardy:

UCLA Shuts Down Scandal-Plagued Cadaver Program
Tue Mar 9, 7:46 PM ET Add U.S. National - Reuters to My Yahoo!


By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The University of California at Los Angeles shut down its scandal-plagued donated cadaver program -- possibly for good -- on Tuesday amid a criminal investigation into the sale of body parts.


Reuters Photo


AP Photo
Slideshow: Lawsuit Alleges UCLA Sold Body Parts




Officials at UCLA put the program on hold as lawyers for family members of body donors obtained a court order barring the prestigious public university from further work on the cadavers it had in cold storage.


"It was decided it would be in the best interests of the public, in the best interests of UCLA and in the best interests of the College of Medicine to suspend the Willed Body Program at this time," UCLA attorney Lou Marlin said outside court.


"Whether or not UCLA will restart the program is a decision that has not been made at this time and will not be made for some period of time," he said. "It is being examined."


Marlin and university officials remained adamant that the scheme went no higher than Willed Body Program administrator Henry Reid, who was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of selling off bodies piecemeal instead of providing them to medical students for study.


Marlin said in court that Reid, one of the department's three employees, may have gotten away with trafficking in body parts by keeping some of the donated cadavers off the books.


"He may have been accepting cadavers that he never recorded," Marlin said.


Also arrested was 46-year-old Ernest Nelson, a body parts broker who claims that over the past six years he bought parts from some 800 cadavers from Reid for about $700,000 with the permission of the university.


A BLIND EYE?


Nelson's lawyers showed the Los Angeles Times documents which they claim prove that the university knew about the sale of body parts. Families of donors also made that charge in lawsuits they filed against UCLA and a number of medical research companies, including Johnson & Johnson .


"I still believe that ultimately the facts will show that people higher than Mr. Reid at UCLA were aware of what was happening with the body parts or at a minimum ... turned a blind eye," donor family lawyer Raymond Boucher said.


Boucher, who represents family members in a long-running 1996 lawsuit against UCLA over the improper disposal of remains, commended university officials for suspending the Willed Body Program and said it should never reopen.


"Given the black market for body parts and the history of this program it ought to be shut down," he said. "It would be wrong to even think of starting it up again."


Meanwhile Johnson & Johnson, the only firm so far sued by name and accused of purchasing body parts, confirmed that its wholly owned business unit Mitek "contracted with Mr. Nelson in the 1990s for human tissue samples."


"Mitek did not knowingly receive samples that may have been obtained in an inappropriate way," the company said in a statement. Massachusetts-based Mitek develops medical devices used in sports medicine and reconstructive surgery, according to the company's Web site.


Under a temporary restraining order that a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner was expected to sign on Tuesday, UCLA medical students can continue to work on the 25 to 30 cadavers that had already been sent to their anatomy classes.


But the university will not accept any further body donations and will preserve untouched cadavers in its "cold room," until a further order from the court. It was not clear how many cadavers were in the cold storage room as it had been locked and placed under armed guard after Reid's arrest.
 

potuhusky

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so will this possibly affect this year's entering students (2004) or next year's (2005)?
 
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Alexander99

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That better not be the case. UCLA is one of my top choices and I want to go into surgery. Watching dissections on video is not a good start for a surgery career.
 

Pinkertinkle

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Yup, I foresee a shortage of cadavers for UCLA. Whose going to want to give cadavers to people who resold em? UCLA is going to have to pay big bucks to buy cadavers from now on.
 

bulldog

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who knows...they might move the dissections over to drew or, like the 50s, revolutionalize anatomy learning w/ some all-computer curriculum.
 

CalBeE

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I think I read somewhere here that UCSF no longer requires students to dissect cadavers, and dissections become optional courses. It didn't seem to be a big deal. I wouldn't mind if UCLA does the same, cause I'm not a big fan of dissection (I think I learn better from computer simulation and body parts dissected by experts)
 

GTea

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I definitely wish that this thing had not happened, but I don't think its going to end up being a huge scandal putting the entire anatomy department into jeopardy...I hope not. I think UCLA gets over 100 donations/year, so as long as the university was not involved in this, they'll have enough cadavers for new students.
 

A.D.O.R.

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Originally posted by CalBeE
I think I read somewhere here that UCSF no longer requires students to dissect cadavers, and dissections become optional courses. It didn't seem to be a big deal. I wouldn't mind if UCLA does the same, cause I'm not a big fan of dissection (I think I learn better from computer simulation and body parts dissected by experts)

We do have prosection (predissected cadavers) at UCSF. If UCLA switches to the UCSF prosection model, not doing dissections should not be a big deal. However, surgery residents will probably be affected. At UCSF, lots of surgery residents and surgery faculty hone their skills/test out new methods by doing dissections. Just some food for thought.
 

SoulRFlare

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Who buys cadavar parts?? are they selling bones to be used for vertebrae replacement? or are they taking recently deceased ppl and harvesting their organs? because after the preservation process, most of the parts would be useless in treatment. maybe they're selling the cadavers to that guy in europe who makes sculptures using dead people.
 

Celestron2000

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Plastic surgeons do practice nose-jobs on the faces. :confused:
-> A little bizarre to think of getting a nose-job after death.
There's a whole book out there about everything these bodys get used for, I haven't read it, just heard about it.
 

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BaseballFan

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Originally posted by GTea
I definitely wish that this thing had not happened, but I don't think its going to end up being a huge scandal putting the entire anatomy department into jeopardy...I hope not. I think UCLA gets over 100 donations/year, so as long as the university was not involved in this, they'll have enough cadavers for new students.

I think this is already a huge enough scandal. It affects UCLA's reputation in a huge way, especially in the public eye.

People's trust is very hard to win back.
 

fuzzylogic

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ucla is still a great school. i hope its reputation does not get damaged by a few trolls. the attorney that represents the donors' families said that he will probe more and try to find out whether other higher level staff are involved. i don't think it would be good if more ucla staff are found to be involved in this scandal. i guess we will find out soon enough.
 

Brickhouse

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Originally posted by Celestron2000
Plastic surgeons do practice nose-jobs on the faces. :confused:
-> A little bizarre to think of getting a nose-job after death.
There's a whole book out there about everything these bodys get used for, I haven't read it, just heard about it.



I have this book. It's called "stiff" - it's pretty interesting - all about the life of a cadaver - history and such, and it's true, the first chapter is about a bunch of plastic surgeons practicing their techniques on severed heads!! :wow:
 

umass rower

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Originally posted by personal jesus
I wonder what this scandal plus the tuition hike will do to matriculation this year?
Apparently it didn't hurt them badly enough to get me an interview.
 

twizzlers

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A couple more tidbits from the LA Times article today for those who don't want to read through the whole thing:

All new cadaver donations for UCLA are now being referred to UC Irvine's cadaver program; while the current medical students can continue to work on the cadavers already in their classes, currently there won't be cadavers for this fall's class, so they aren't sure what's going to happen.

Also, there was a brief mention of how all this affected current UCLA med students strongly because they had been taught to treat cadavers with respect.
 

TTSD

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Originally posted by BaseballFan
I think this is already a huge enough scandal. It affects UCLA's reputation in a huge way, especially in the public eye.

People's trust is very hard to win back.

I don't think it's going to tarnish the reputation of the doctors it produces in any way. The only concern is how they can adapt in their curriculum without cadavers now. Though I'm sure they can probably find some somewhere else.

So, even if everything goes to the hell in a handbasket and UCLA starts producing sub-par graduates (in extreme worse case scenario), it'll probably still take a long time to ruin UCLA's reputation..

then again, how long did it take for USC did get it's @$$ handed to them by UCLA and how long did it take for USC to repair itself?
 

GTea

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At Cleveland Clinic, they will be using prosections to teach anatomy. I guess a lot of schools are moving in this direction. The dean there also told us that people interested in surgery may earn a master's in anatomy to better prepare for residency.
 

Robz

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Originally posted by GTea
At Cleveland Clinic, they will be using prosections to teach anatomy. I guess a lot of schools are moving in this direction. The dean there also told us that people interested in surgery may earn a master's in anatomy to better prepare for residency.

Isn't it the point for a medical school to prepare their medical students for residency?
 

GTea

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Yeah, but not everyone wants to go into surgery. Until now anatomy dissections were sort of viewed as the rite of passage for medical students. But schools have realized that dissecting is actually a very time consuming/expensive program, without huge benefits to student learning (hours spent on just cutting and ridding of fat). I was told that the prosections allow for more efficient use of time.

I guess people interested in surgery at these schools don't HAVE to earn a master's, probably doing surgery electives will do.
 

CalBeE

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why....oh why? Crazy UC tuition hike...now a termination of cadaver donation program...why didn't I enter med school two years earlier??

Even though I'm not interested in surgery...but still....
 

BaseballFan

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Originally posted by TTSD
I don't think it's going to tarnish the reputation of the doctors it produces in any way. The only concern is how they can adapt in their curriculum without cadavers now. Though I'm sure they can probably find some somewhere else.

So, even if everything goes to the hell in a handbasket and UCLA starts producing sub-par graduates (in extreme worse case scenario), it'll probably still take a long time to ruin UCLA's reputation..

then again, how long did it take for USC did get it's @$$ handed to them by UCLA and how long did it take for USC to repair itself?

I don't think the reputation of the doctors within the medical world will change... but I think that the ethical reputation of the medical center has taken a hit. I wonder what the current students at UCLA think...can anyone respond?

Also, I agree that they should be concerned about next year's class...where are they going to get cadavers? How will this mess up the planned curriculum and scheduling?
 

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Originally posted by Yogi Bear
here's some pertinent info for current applicants. :idea: so don't shut this thread down and move it to your forum drmom. :hardy:

I certainly would have moved it if I thought it was necessary to move it. But, I think this is valid info to stay here.
 

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Originally posted by GTea
The dean there also told us that people interested in surgery may earn a master's in anatomy to better prepare for residency.

That is ****ing bull****. People dont pay 150k just to find out that they need another 2 years of education before they can do a surgery residency.

I cant believe the arrogance of the dean. They'd better find a way to get med students access to cadavers, or they are doing thier future surgeons a HUGE disservice.

If they dont change their tune, I would recommend that nobody wanting to enter surgery fields consider those schools that dont do dissections.

Cleveland Clinic has a DUTY to offer cadaver dissections. They dont necessarily have to force every med student to do them, but they have a DUTY to at least offer cadaver dissections to med students interested in surgery.

This stupid dean's comment about doing a masters sounds a lot to me like "let them eat cake." What a bunch of BS.
 

jlee9531

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i better be able to do dissections this fall. they better get this thing settled...i was actually looking forward to anatomy...wtf man.

prosections are nice to study off of...but i want to option to be able to do do dissections.
 

indianboy

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That is ****ing bull****

Hey ****ers calm the ****. I would sell my left ****ing nut to get out of ****ty anatomy lab dissections. You people are so ****ing sick. ****.

Hope that Helps.

P '**** **** ****' ShankOut
 

celticmists18

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I feel sorry for all your guys who are UCLA bound . . .personally I think dissections are indispensable to medical education, you CANNOT learn anatomy from a book. Have you every looked into an opened cadaver, doesn't look like any of my anatomy books from college! (and for your reference, I do NOT want to be a surgeon)
 
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