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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 September 2005, 20:05 GMT 21:05 UK
Human tissue slides 'up for sale'
Queen's University Belfast
Queen's University is investigating the incident
A collection of slides of human tissue has been withdrawn from public auction after complaints from relatives affected by the human organ scandal.

The slides were from Queen's University, Belfast, and it is looking into how they came to be up for sale.

Kate Moore was among those affected when organs and tissues were kept by hospitals without relatives' consent.

She was astonished to find the slides at an auction house. However, Queen's said they were probably 70 years old.

"I looked at them and they had 'Queen's University, Belfast' on them," Ms Moore said.

"On one side of them when you opened the box, each slide was itemised, so it had the part of the body again and the date and there were two columns of these, the same as there were two columns of slides.

"I wonder if this isn't the only box and, perhaps, Queen's have disposed of these in a way that they shouldn't have disposed of them."

A spokesman said the university had taken back the slides and was investigating what had happened.

"Queen's University promised us in the past that any tissue that they had they would dispose of in the right manner," Ms Moore said.

"By turning up at a public auction, it does not appear to need to be disposed of in the right manner."

Ms Moore is now calling for an independent external inquiry into how the slides came to be in an auction.

Two years ago, Queen's University promised that they would continue to meet the highest standards for the obtaining and retaining of tissues and organs for the diagnosis and research of diseases.

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31 Jan 03 |  England

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