RFID Tags Proposed To Halt Blackmarket Cadaver Trade
An investigation into illegal sale and distribution of cadavers and body parts at the University of California, Los Angeles, has lead to recommendations that include implanting cadavers and individual body parts with RFID tags.
Last year, UCLA suspended its willed-body program. The program director was arrested after an investigation of apparently stolen body parts revealed serious problems with security in the program. A body-parts dealer who is not affiliated with the University of California system was also arrested.
Former California Gov. George Deukmejian, who led an investigative task force, told University of California regents Wednesday that the probe revealed a "clear lack of standards" in accounting for specimens, keeping records and oversight.
Among the recommendations, which included better security cameras and improved record-keeping, was the idea that cadavers and even individual body parts should be identified with bar codes or with implanted radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags.
The law of supply and demand has induced some people involved in legitimate medical research on bodies willed to science to seek illegitimate profit. A 1999 scandal at UC Irvine began when an audit showed that the director of its willed-body program had sold spines to a Phoenix hospital for $5,000 each. He was fired but never prosecuted. UC Irvine is now the only school with cameras in its laboratory and the only one to conduct unannounced inventories of its cadavers and body parts.
The demand for body parts for use by biomedical firms, pharmaceutical companies, surgeons training in new techniques and educational institutions without their own programs — has risen sharply in the past few years. The sale of human body parts is illegal, but the law allows suppliers to charge "reasonable" fees to recover costs.
According to a price list included in the UC report, one supplier, the International Institute for the Advancement of Medicine, in Jessup, Pa., charges $2,100 for a torso with head and $887 for a whole arm with shoulder.
Larry Niven coined the term organlegging to describe practice of trafficking in human organs in his 1967 novel The Jigsaw Man. Read more about implanting live people with RFID tags for bill payment; also the FDA has approved the VeriChip tag for use in hospital patients. See UCLA weighs cadaver safeguards and Report finds lax oversite in UC cadaver program for more on this story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/10/2005)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
H-MEX Helpful Exoskeleton From Hyundai
'We have those new suits rigged with atomic-powered lifting gadgets...' - John W. Campbell, 1938.
3D Skin Printer Helps Burn Victims
'Over her lacerated right shoulder he sprayed art-derm...'- Philip K. Dick, 1960.
Can Virtual Reality help People Cope With Pain?
Research is promising.
Talkspace Anonymous Therapy App
'Stonkered or clutched or quite simply going insane, someone reaches for the phone...' - John Brunner, 1975.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Matrix Sentinel Ancestor, The Pipe Inspector Robot From Krakow
Watch out, Keanu!
Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'
Robotic Physician Assistant Has Steady 'Hands'
'You turned the screws below and the prongs moved... with caliper slowness, minuteness and precision.'
Roboy 3DPrinted Humanoid Robot
'A robot child that would be reared within the bosom of a human family...'
Robird Flapping Wing Drones Keep Airports Safe
'Mitch heard a rasping, flacketing buzz, like a big insect...'
3D Printed Fashion - Plastirobes And Transdresses
'... dial a new fashion every day!'
Robotic Lawn Mower Powered By Sun, Arduino
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself like a contented hen...'
Google Perfects 'Blade Runner-style' Photo Details
'Pull back... stop... enhance 57-19...'
Pokerbot Libratus Learns To Lie (Bluff)
'Lying's a vital part of your psychological defense system - you're naked without it!'
Otto Autonomous Robot Trucks Run Into... Legal Snag
'They were automatic trucks such as are used for making deliveries...'
Tiny Drones With Sticky Feet Pollinate Flowers Now
'The Scarab rubbed its hind legs together...'
ThreeForm 3D Scans And Digitally Simulates Customer Fashion
'...A miracle of misapplied engineering caused his own face to appear on the illustrated figures dressed in trooper red.'
CloudFisher - Moroccan Fog Farmers Harvest Moisture From The Air
'That moisture trickles down...'
Piaggio Gita Personal Robot Porter
'Carry his bag... and follow him faithfully...'
Ardu McDuino, Bagpipe Robot
'Rollo sat at the keyboard, prim, inhuman, rigid, twin lenses focused...'
Not Quite Self-Replicating Robots, Franka Emika
'... it shares with mankind the ability to propagate.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories