Body Snatchers

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July 20, 2012, 12:46 a.m. | Ukraine — by Vlad Lavrov, Kate Willson, Martina Keller, Thomas Maier and Gerard Ryle

The Mykolaiv regional forensic medicine bureau, where the Security Service of Ukraine is investigating whether employees tricked relatives of dead people into signing consent forms to recover their tissue. Seized documents suggested that the tissue was to be shipped to Germany. (Kostyantyn Chernichkin)
© Kostyantyn Chernichkin

Corpses are in high demand internationally. Body parts are harvested for a host of medical and cosmetic surgeries. Ukraine is at the center of this trade, which is dogged by repeated allegations that human tissue has been removed without proper consent and is implanted without patients’ knowledge, sometimes causing infections and even deaths. The global trade clearly lacks oversight.

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philip SULLIVAN July 21, 2012, 1:21 a.m.    

this is of very very serious international concern, very serious!!!!

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Yevgeniy Milnikoff July 24, 2012, 1:53 p.m.    

Majority who lives in Ukraine tries to find additional source of making money. Frequently one try to tie their main place of job and the source. And it is creepy when it happens in morgue or forensic bureau, when making money is connected to the human disaster... Moreovere when tissues and organs try to get not only out of cadavers but also from livings... Parents of 23 year old Olga Shevchenko cannot bury their daughter for 3 months because of murder suspiсion. They stated that the traces on her body are similar to those that remains after organs removal not after a train strike as it was stated in forensic examination. The item could be found on the personal facebook page of the MP Mikola Katarenchuk.

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