This story seems like a mixture between a journal of the macabre and a Hitchcock thriller but unfortunately the case is real. At Radcliffe Hospital, Liverpool, in the north of England, Professor Dick Van Velzen has removed thousands of organs from dead children, without the consent of the parents. He claimed he was acting in the interest of medicine, removing the organs and storing them in jars to be preserved for later use in experiments. Professor Velzen is now banned from medical practice in the UK, just as he was banned in Canada for the same reasons. Professor Velzen claims he was acting in the interests of science and that all the children in question were clinically dead when their organs were removed. However, with the growing traffic in living organs around the world, sold at a high price to those willing to pay for a transplant ahead of national health service waiting lists, the suspicion is strong that organs may have been sold. More so, when one discovers that the Professor lied to parents and falsified medical records. While many parents would be willing to see the organs of their own child save the life of another, the minimum they can expect is to give permission for the body to be dismembered and the organs removed. In the United Kingdom, it is illegal to remove organs from a body unless the deceased has registered as a donor. More worrying still is a document which claims that in the UK, this practice is common in health centres around the country and that more than 105,000 organs have been removed from children in National Health Service centres. As a macabre and horrific ending to this dreadful story, one mother said that she discovered her dead child had been dismembered and its organs placed in 16 jars, which she brought home. How it is possible that such practices happen in the United Kingdom is beyond comprehension.
JOHN ASHTEAD PRAVDA.RU LONDON
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