Tuesday, June 13, 2006
The Associated Press has a fairly detailed story on the New York funeral home scandal involving the unconsented harvesting of body parts, some of which were diseased. Some excerpts:
The body parts, though no longer of any value to their owners, became big business for Mastromarino. His lawyer said he was among the first in the industry to figure out that one way to meet the high demand for donated human tissue — traditionally procured in the controlled environment of hospitals — was to turn to funeral homes.
Deals were cut with funeral directors in New York City, Rochester, N.Y., Philadelphia and New Jersey: BTS would pay a $1,000 “facility fee” to harvest body parts on their premises. . . .
Processors who bought from Mastromarino — one body could bring the company $7,000 — were more interested in his ability to meet demand than in the man himself.
“We had very little contact with him,” said Marshall Cothran, chief executive of Central Texas Regional Blood and Tissue Center.
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