March 08, 2007

Selling Bodies at UCLA

Cadavers for sale at UCLA? That's the charge:
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office announced criminal charges today against two men who allegedly ran a cadaver-trafficking scheme at UCLA's medical school, capping a three-year investigation that led to the temporary closure of the school's body donor program.

Henry Reid, 57, an embalmer who was director of the willed-body program from 1997 to 2004, was charged with conspiracy and grand theft for allegedly funneling donated bodies to a middleman, who then sold them to others for profit.

The middleman, Ernest Nelson, 49, was charged with conspiracy, grand theft and tax evasion. He has acknowledged cutting up about 800 cadavers and selling them to large medical research companies, including Johnson & Johnson; Nelson says the school authorized the sales, but UCLA officials say he was acting on his own.

Both Reid and Nelson were arrested today by UCLA police and are being held in lieu of $1 million bail each. Neither man could be reached for comment. They could be formally arraigned in a downtown criminal courtroom as early as Thursday.

-Art Caplan

Labels: ,

View blog reactions

| More