May 13, 2003

Off the Associated Press wire today: "U.K. Doctors Took 20,000 Brains."

A few excerpts:

The brains of at least 20,000 people, many of them depressed or mentally ill when they died, were removed without their families' consent over a 30-year period, a senior government doctor reported Monday.

Some brains were removed to help diagnose cause of death, while others were collected for neuropsychiatric research, Dr. Jeremy Metters, Her Majesty's Inspector of Anatomy, said in a report that followed an 18-month investigation….

The 20,000 figure may be far lower than the actual number of brains taken. It includes only brains still held by hospitals and universities in England, and Metters said many more could have been examined and destroyed….

The removal of organs without consent was outlawed [in 1999] after it was discovered that 3,500 organs from babies and children had been retained by the Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital in northwest England without the parents' knowledge.

And people wonder why I generally distrust doctors.

Besides, didn't their mothers ever tell them not to take something without asking first?


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