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18 Pages

EXTRACTION AND USE OF BODY MATERIALS FOR TRANSPLANTATION AND RESEARCH PURPOSES: THE IMPACT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 1998

Many UK hospitals have been implicated in recent scandals involving such activities as: retention for research purposes of body materials of deceased persons taken without either a valid consent or first checking with the relatives; taking far more materials than a consent allowed; disposal of deceased persons without checking first with their relatives; undignified disposal of deceased persons, including disposal of dead babies in clinical waste bags;1 and selling the thymus glands of young children, removed in operations for heart conditions, to pharmaceutical companies, without consent (albeit the commercial exploitation of such body materials being mitigated by the fact that the unit price typically gained for such glands was so low that it might not have done more than cover the paperwork).2