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USA. They stole human remains from the university’s mortuary, prosecutors say. Six people have been charged

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US authorities have charged six people, including the director of the Harvard Medical School mortuary in Boston, with stealing and selling some of the bodies of people who have been admitted to the facility over the past five years. – The theft of human remains and trafficking in them strikes at the very essence of what makes us human – assessed Gerard M. Karam in a message on the prosecutor’s website.

Former Harvard Medical School mortuary manager Cedric Lodge was arrested by the FBI on June 14. On the same day, prosecutors in Pennsylvania announced that a federal grand jury had indicted a total of six people. In addition to Lodge, those included his wife, Denise Lodge, and people who allegedly purchased body parts from the couple for morgues at Harvard Medical School, according to a press release on the prosecutor’s website.

SEE ALSO: The funeral home sold bodies, the mother of the owner was engaged in “chopping”. The women were sentenced

Prosecutor on charges for stealing and selling parts of human corpses

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Prosecutor Gerard M. Karam pointed out that between 2018 and 2022, Lodge allegedly stole body parts from his facility in Boston, Massachusetts, and from a mortuary in Arkansas, and then sold them to Katrina Maclean, Joshua Taylor and others, sometimes allowing them to enter to the mortuary “so they can examine the corpse to choose what to buy.” Maclean and Taylor were then to resell the corpse parts for a profit. – Some crimes are hard to understand. Theft and trafficking of human remains strikes at the very essence of what makes us human, Karam said in a statement on the prosecutor’s website.

He emphasized that the stolen corpse parts came from people who declared their willingness to transfer their bodies to the morgue in order to “educate doctors and accelerate the development of science.” The defendants face a prison sentence of up to 15 years. The indictment does not contain information on the purpose for which the defendants bought body parts – noted the NBC News portal, calculating that Taylor from September 2018 to July 2021 was supposed to transfer the sum of 37 to Lodge, 3 thousand dollars (approx. PLN 151,000 – ed.).

Sale of cadaver parts in the USA

The case of the bodies from the Harvard Medical School mortuary sparked a discussion in the United States on regulations related to the donation of corpses for scientific purposes. Thomas Champney, a bioethics expert at the University of Miami, told NBC News that there are “dozens of others” across the country who are involved in the illegal trade in cadaver parts.

The Reuters agency already reported in 2017 that the sale of human fetuses in USA is illegal, but the sale of adult remains is legal in “almost every state.” Reuters then wrote about the abuses of the so-called body brokers, i.e. companies and individuals dealing in the trade in the bodies of deceased people. As noted by the agency, “body brokers” make money by supplying bodies and dismembered cadaver parts to companies and institutions that use them for training, education and research. Some people choose to donate their bodies to these types of institutions rather than universities or state agencies because “they often offer donors to pick up the body, transport it and cremate it for free in exchange for donating the body.” For relatives, this means saving several hundred dollars.

“What I really want from the federal government is basic enforcement of body handling laws,” Thomas Champney told NBC.

SEE ALSO: He was living with the corpse of a roommate, he was arrested

justice.gov, NBC News, Reuters

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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