Two Newspapers Examine Impact of Alleged Cadaver Sales From University of California-Los Angeles Medical School
Two California newspapers on Sunday examined the impact of the alleged sale of cadavers from the willed body program at the University of California-Los Angeles School of Medicine. According to invoices printed on UCLA letterhead, Henry Reid, director of the program, 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. In response to the allegations, UCLA on Tuesday announced plans to suspend the program at least until the completion of an investigation into the case (California Healthline, 3/11).
Los Angeles Times: The Times reports that the UCLA case has some orthopedic surgeons "worried that the scandal, and others like it, could discourage people from donating their bodies for research." According to the surgeons, a number of advances in surgical techniques "could not have been developed without cadavers," and medical schools use cadavers to teach students to perform such techniques (Zarembo, Los Angeles Times, 3/14).
- Sacramento Bee: The Bee reports that the UCLA case "highlights shortcomings in body donation programs nationally and raises questions about how donors and their families can be sure that bodies will be handled with care and respect." According to the Bee, the case "underscores the fact that donors and their families generally have no way of knowing how the bodies ultimately will be used" (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 3/14).