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Last Updated: Monday, 26 July, 2004, 17:57 GMT 18:57 UK
Organ scandal baby remains buried
The report in to the organ retention scandal at Alder Hey Hospital
Campaigners have battled for three years for the burials
Funerals are being prepared for the remains of 1,000 babies that were discovered during the organ retention scandal at Alder Hey Hospital.

A series of funeral services will be held to ensure their burials are carried out with the "utmost dignity".

Bosses at the Liverpool hospital said the bodies are mainly those of stillborn babies predating 1980.

Support group Pity II has welcomed the news that the remains - foetal tissue and corpses - will be laid to rest.

The remains had been stored at the children's hospital and the Institute of Child Health at the University of Liverpool for more than 20 years.

A joint statement from Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority, the University of Liverpool and the Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital Alder Hey said land has been donated by the local authority for the burial.

I am delighted that somebody has finally recognised how important it is that these children are laid to rest
Paula O'Leary, Pity II
"Everybody involved is committed to ensuring that the burials are carried out with the utmost degree of dignity and respect," the statement said.

Paula O'Leary, founder member of Pity II, said the burials have come at the end of a long campaign.

"I have fought for three-and-a-half years to have these children given the dignity they deserve," she said.

"Nobody knows who these babies belong to but we have fought for them as if they were our own.

"I am delighted that somebody has finally recognised how important it is that these children are laid to rest."

The organ retention scandal at the hospital emerged in 1999, when it was discovered 170 hearts had been removed from babies during post-mortem examinations, without their parent's consent.

The first funeral service will take place in the "Baby Garden" at Allerton Cemetery on Thursday 5 August, and on subsequent Thursdays until all of the burials are complete.

Members of the public are welcome to attend.

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