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The Seamy Side Of The Human Tissue Business : NPR

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NPR
July 19, 2012

Part 4 in a four-part series

The human tissue industry has created medical advances for millions of Americans. Tissue taken from cadavers is turned into medical products for the living. A tendon can be used to repair a torn ACL. Veins are used in heart bypass operations. Bone can be turned into plates and screws. They look like something you'd find in a hardware store, but these get used to mend a broken leg. It's a $1 billion-a-year industry that attracts the altruistic, but sometimes the greedy.

Read the full article and listen listen to audio (7:47) at NPR

 

Am I A Tissue Donor, Too? : NPR

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NPR
July 18, 2012

Part 3 in a four-part series

NPR's Joseph Shapiro knew he had signed up to be an organ donor, but he didn't realize the red heart on his driver's license signifies that he also agreed to donate his tendons, bones, veins and other tissue.

Read the full article and listen to audio (6:04) at NPR

 

Little Regulation Poses Problems Tracking Tissue : NPR

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NPR
July 18, 2012

Part two of a four-part series

An investigation by reporters from NPR and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists — a network of reporters around the world — found that there's little scrutiny at key points in the tissue donation and transplant process.

But David Smith, president of the American Association of Tissue Banks, the industry trade group, disagrees with that finding.

"We are very highly regulated," he says, noting that medical advances with tissue come so quickly that regulators have a hard time keeping up or staying out of the way. "That's what we worry about. Will the regulations affect our ability to come up with new ideas?"

Read the full article and listen to audio (7:47) at NPR

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Interactive: The Anatomy Of Human Tissue Profits
Explore how much medical facilities pay for body parts commonly used from tissue donors.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 July 2012 19:08 )
 

Japan has almost no regulations on human tissue

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ICIJ Global Muckraker
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
July 18, 2012

Responding to the ICIJ's investigation into the human tissue trade, a team of reporters of the Asahi Shimbun, a daily newspaper in Japan, has investigated how human tissue has been used in Japan.

Unlike organs, such as the heart and lungs, which are strictly regulated under the Law on Organ Transplantation, there is no ban on the buying and selling of human tissue.

Read the full article in the ICIJ Global Muckraker

RELATED LINK

Japan lacking in regulating human tissue use in transplants (The Asahi Shimbun 7/18/2012)


 

Body Brokers Leave Trail of Questions, Corruption

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The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
July 18, 2012

Second installment of a four-part series.

In April 2003, Robert Ambrosino murdered his ex-fiancée – a 22-year-old aspiring actress – by shooting her in the face with a .45-caliber pistol.

Then Ambrosino turned the gun around and killed himself.

Soon after, Ambrosino’s corpse entered the United States’ vast tissue-donation system, his skin, bones and other body parts destined for use in the manufacture of cutting-edge medical products.

But before they entered the system, Michael Mastromarino, owner of a New Jersey-based tissue recovery firm, needed to solve a couple of problems.

He didn’t want to have to report that Ambrosino had perished in a murder-suicide. And he didn’t want anyone to know that Ambrosino’s family hadn’t given permission for his body to be used for tissue donation.

Mastromarino solved both problems the same way: He lied.

Read the full article at The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

 


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