UCI: School Reverses Decision to Cremate Unidentified Bodies
The University of California-Irvine has reversed its decision to cremate four unidentified cadavers and vowed to continue the attempt to identify the bodies, the Orange County Register reports. Attorneys for 19 families who are suing the school's scandal-plagued will-body program argued that cremating the bodies "was tantamount to destroying evidence." The university claims it has used DNA testing, fingerprinting, dental records and public records to identify the bodies but will not release details about the identification process because of "confidentiality agreements" with the families. However, some families have questioned the extent of the effort, saying they have never been asked for dental records or blood samples. UCI attorney Lou Marlin said, "The university is going to exhaust all available methods to identify the remains. Any further comment would be inappropriate in light of pending litigation." Some of the families suing the school contend that they have waited more than eight years to locate the bodies of family members. The UCI program stopped taking donations last August after the school suspended and subsequently fired mortician Christopher Brown for allegedly selling donated body parts (Heisel, 8/24).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.