Human Interest

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Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Body Parts

March 19, 2008 06:04 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A New Jersey man took body parts from cadavers and sold them to tissue banks without the proper testing.  Body snatching is a centuries-old practice.

30-Second Summary

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Human tissue taken from cadavers is used in more than a million procedures each year. Tissue is supposed to be donated and screened for any diseases or conditions that could infect the patient.

But Michael Mastromarino, who ran a tissue company, has pleaded guilty to charges of taking cadaver tissue and not properly testing it before selling it to tissue banks throughout the nation. Among the many bodies that were violated was Alistair Cooke’s, a broadcaster popular in Britain who died in 2004.

For at least one of the patients who received stolen tissue, life has become a series of blood tests.

Body and body part theft has gone on throughout history. It was especially lucrative in 18th century London, when medical students would pay for cadavers so they could study anatomy. Authorities often looked the other way or gave light punishments to those who were caught.

Headline Links: Dentist pleads guilty to stealing and selling body parts

Reference: Cadavers as research, cadavers saving lives

Related Topic: Alistair Cooke

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