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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 March, 2004, 21:32 GMT
UCLA halts probe-hit body scheme
An American university at the centre of a probe into the alleged sale of corpses has agreed to stop accepting donated cadavers, said lawyers.

Louis Marlin, who represents the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), said the willed-body programme was being temporarily suspended.

Programme head Henry Reid was arrested at the weekend over the alleged sale.

UCLA denied claims by a second arrested man, Ernest Nelson, that university bosses knew he was taking body parts.

Donated cadavers are considered vital for medical training
Mr Marlin told a Los Angeles court that UCLA was temporarily halting its 54-year-old programme - the nation's oldest - in a bid to reassure those affected.

"This was done... in order to protect all of those interests, and in light of the grave concerns that UCLA has for the family members," he said.

He said it was agreed that students could continue to use 25 to 30 bodies to help them complete their courses, but no more corpses would be accepted without court approval.

"Whether or not UCLA will restart the programme is a decision that has not been made at this time and will not be made for some period of time," Mr Marlin told the court.

'Corporate clients'

Henry Reid, 54 - head of UCLA's willed body programme - was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of illegally selling off bodies donated to the university's medical school.

A day later, 46-year-old Ernest Nelson was arrested on suspicion of being the middleman, selling the bodies on to corporate laboratories.

Both men were released after posting bail.

Mr Nelson reportedly told the Los Angeles Times that he had cut up about 800 bodies over six years with the full knowledge and permission of the university.

He contended he had done nothing wrong.

His lawyers provided the newspaper with documents they claimed proved that the university was aware of what he was doing.

Mr Marlin said in court that UCLA was not sure that the documents were genuine.

Two held in UCLA cadaver scandal
09 Mar 04  |  Americas

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