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Little Regulation Poses Problems Tracking Tissue : NPR

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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


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


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


Recycling Corpses is Big Business

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The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
July 17, 2012

Part 1 of a four-part series

The business of recycling dead humans has grown so large you can buy stock in publicly traded companies that rely on corpses for their raw materials, a new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has found.

“Skin and bone donated by relatives of the dead is turned into everything from bladder slings to surgical screws to material used in dentistry or plastic surgery,” according to Gerard Ryle, the director of ICIJ, which is a project of The Center for Public Integrity.

Read the full article at The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists


When Mortality Smacks You In The Face

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The Family Plot Blog
July 17, 2012

Josh Slocum, Executive Director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA), spends his entire day on a soapbox telling people why funeral planning, advance directives and discussing your choices are important. You’d think he of all people would have his affairs in order.

Imagine his surprise in December 2010 when a heart attack struck him at the age of 36.  Mortality rudely slapped his face and he was not prepared.

Read the full article in The Family Plot Blog


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