Profitable corpses-for-cash industry prevalent in Ukraine
Need for tissues harvested from dead in order to benefit the living sidesteps moral issues
It's an ethical question for the ages: does the tissue on a dead body,
which could drastically improve the quality of the living - in the form
of cornea and ligature transplants, supersede other ethical concerns?
That's the question hanging over the profitable cash-for-corpses
industry in the cash-strapped Ukraine, where top dollar is being heard
over other issues.
In the Ukraine, authorities believe that bodies passing through a morgue in the Nikolaev district, near the Black Sea, may have been feeding the trade.
As reported by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the body parts were the work of an international pipeline of ingredients for medical and dental products that are routinely implanted into people globally.
The dead Ukrainians were apparently destined for a factory in Germany belonging to the subsidiary of a U.S. medical products company, Florida-based RTI Biologics, one of a growing industry of companies that make profits by turning human tissue to dental implants, bladder slings - even wrinkle cures.
The U.S. remains the biggest market and the biggest supplier of this macabre industry. An estimated two million products are derived from human tissue and are sold annually.
In the Ukraine, authorities believe that bodies passing through a morgue in the Nikolaev district, near the Black Sea, may have been feeding the trade. However, industry officials argue that such alleged abuses are rare, and that the industry operates safely and responsibly.
RTI has declined repeated requests for comment or to a detailed list of questions provided.
The company has released statements that they \"honor the gift of tissue donation by treating the tissue with respect, by finding new ways to use the tissue to help patients and by helping as many patients as possible from each donation.\"
The ongoing industry reliant on human tissue harvested from the dead has flown largely under the radar due to popular appeal for allowing the dead to help the living survive and thrive.
An eight-month, 11-country investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has proved that this industry\'s good intentions are sometimes are in conflict with the rush to make money from the dead.
There are inadequate safeguards in place to ensure all tissue used by the industry is obtained legally and ethically.
Despite concerns by doctors that the lightly regulated trade could allow diseased tissues to infect transplant recipients with hepatitis, HIV and other pathogens, authorities have done little to deal with the risks.
In contrast to tightly-monitored systems for tracking intact organs such as hearts and lungs, authorities in the U.S. and many other countries have no way to accurately trace where recycled skin and other tissues come from and where they go, the consortium reports.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
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Keywords: Ukraine, transplants, corpses, profit, tissues
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