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 -
EPR Is Quick, Temporary Biostasis
'The cold-pack was being sucked out greedily by plastic suction tendrils...' - Philip K. Dick, 1960.
TytoCare Offers Futuristic Home Care
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...' - EM Forster, 1909.
Would You Swallow An Origami Robot?
'Swallow it in an emergency--it goes down easily and works just as well inside as outside.' - Doc Smith, 1934.
Biotech Firms Raised $Millions For Anti-Agathics (Longevity Drugs)
'Against Death doth no simple grow.' - James Blish, 1957.
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.
Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition OLED TV
The Look of Things To Come.
Metalenses Now Reconfigurable With Liquid Crystal
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension...'
'Alexa For Residential' A Landlord's Dream (Tenant's Nightmare?)
'...unseen mechanical entities... that are in our very midst. One of them following each of us.'
Gather Ye Moonrocks While Ye May
'The law of filing on newly discovered asteroids was definite.'
InMotion V11 Electric Unicycle Gets Air (Video)
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity...'
Rid Thyself Of Ads On The Newsbox
'Can't we scramble that commercial?'
A.I. Jesus Proclaims Machine Gospel
'... he crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth; inside he put a dime into the slot and dialed at random.'
Google's Remixed 'Your News Update' ala Heinlein, Clarke, Pohl
'Perhaps we had better use the soundtrack and let it hunt.'
iSphere Plastique Fantastique Face Mask Alternative
'Among these were some clad in the insulated space-suits, with their transparent glassite helmets.'
Inkjet-Printed Wearable Solar Cells
Ultra-thin wearable organic photovoltaic material.
NDB Nuclear Waste Battery Lasts A Lifetime
'Trillions of units of power could be compressed thus into an inch-square cube of what looked like blue-white ice.'
Neuralink Will Land A Chip In Your Brain
'What are you talking about? Do you mean a neural lace?'
EPR Is Quick, Temporary Biostasis
'The cold-pack was being sucked out greedily by plastic suction tendrils...'
It's Time For Robots With Soft, Sensitive Skin
Sure, solid metal skin robots looked great once - like in science fiction movies of the 1920's.
An Ocean On Ceres
'We sailed gently forward, hull down to the asteroid's surface... A little sea was now beneath us.'
Microscopic Robots On The March!
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically, purposefully...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories