In Rochester, NY, 3 funeral home directors and 4 former employees of a biomedical supply company secretly removed skin, bone, and other body parts from dozens of deceased people before their planned cremation (without the family's consent). The 7 are being charged with body stealing, unlawful dissection, and other counts. The most serious charges could earn them 20 years in prison.
In some instances, if the person who passed away wasn't being cremated, their bones were stolen, replaced with PVC piping, and then sewn back up before their burial (see the x-ray to the right).
Why did they do this? For the money, of course. They made millions of dollars selling body parts such as knees, heads, and elbows to biomedical companies that supply material for common procedures, including dental implants and hip replacements.
Think of those poor families who already went through the trauma of losing a loved one, and then later had to be told this horrendous news. It's just mortifying and unacceptable.
Trafficking of body parts is a huge, underground business, driven by the growing demand for human bones and tissue. Not only is it illegal, but it threatens the health of unknowing people who are accepting these "donated" body parts. Who knows what kinds of infections could be passed on?
While it's true that patients can definitely benefit from donated bones and skin, and medical students and researchers can learn a ton from using actual body parts, stricter regulations need to come into play here. Families need to know that they can trust funeral homes, and know that their wishes will be respected. What do you think about this?