Court To Issue Injunction Against University of California-Los Angeles Medical School Willed Body Program
Superior Court Commissioner Bruce Mitchell on Tuesday indicated that next week he will formally sign a preliminary injunction against the willed body program at the University of California-Los Angeles School of Medicine, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports. The action would mean that UCLA could not accept donated cadavers without approval from Mitchell. The preliminary injunction would replace a restraining order issued last month and would remain in place until a settlement or verdict is reached in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the families of individuals who donated their cadavers to the willed body program. In the lawsuit, the families alleged that Henry Reid, director of the willed body program, illegally sold body parts for a number of years and UCLA officials were aware of his actions (Risling, AP/Contra Costa Times, 4/14). According to invoices printed on UCLA letterhead, Reid charged Earnest Nelson $704,600 between 1998 and 2003 for the sale of 496 cadavers donated to the program for medical research. Nelson allegedly sold the body parts to a number of large medical research companies. Last month, police arrested Reid for grand theft and Nelson for receipt of stolen property. UCLA last month announced plans to suspend the willed body program at least until the investigation is completed (California Healthline, 3/16). UCLA attorney Louis Marlin said that the university may resume the willed body program next year with court approval. Raymond Boucher, an attorney for some of the families, said, "Our hope is that UCLA could shut down this program, and we hope to get to that point. I don't think this program can provide the safeguards to prevent this from happening again" (AP/Contra Costa Times, 4/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.