Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Making a quick buck out of the dead

Hailing from Edinburgh , the story of Burke and Hare has always been a familiar one but i see that their modern counter-parts are once more active .

Over 1,000 body parts were plundered in New York and then sold for transplants, it has been claimed . The body parts were all pieces of bone which were grafted on to patients needing hip or jaw operations. New York investigators say death certificates were doctored to make the dead out to have been younger and healthier than they actually were. The body of veteran BBC broadcaster Alistair Cooke, who died of cancer aged 95 in March 2004, was reported to have been caught up in the case.

According to this report , the bodies came from funeral homes in New York City, Rochester, Philadelphia and New Jersey that contracted with the Brooklyn funeral parlor for embalming.

Michael Mastromarino, owner of Biomedical Tissue Services of Fort Lee, N.J., was charged along with Brooklyn funeral home owner Joseph Nicelli.
Nicelli was paid up to $1,000 per body to deliver corpses to a secret operating room at his funeral parlor, where Mastromarino would remove body parts. Mastromarino made up to $7,000 a body by selling the tissue, authorities said, and the corpses were then returned to unsuspecting funeral directors for burial.

No comments: