*UCLA Willed Body Program
, shut down 18 months ago after alleged body parts selling scheme, given ok to reopen soon.
The new rules include centralizing willed body programs
at all five University of California campuses in the state - Davis, Irvine, San Diego, San Francisco, as well as Los Angeles - and requiring them to report to a UC-system wide director.
UCLA's willed body program, the oldest in the country, had been receiving about 175 donated bodies every year and had a waiting list of more than 11,000 individuals willing to donate before the program was suspended on March 9, 2004 following allegations 2 employees had engaged in selling body parts from cadavers that had been donated to the school of medicine.
*set minimum standards for all its willed body programs;
Louis Marlin, an attorney representing UCLA, indicated the university hopes to resume the willed body program next year with court approval, according to the Associated Press.
Former California Governor George Deukmejian has been appointed to lead a task force that will investigate the allegations at UCLA and other willed body programs at other University of California campuses.
UCLA officials accused Ernest Nelson, a university employee, of acting as the middleman by buying the body parts from Henry Reid, director of the willed body program and then selling them to a number of large medical research companies.
California Healthline reported that invoices printed on UCLA letterhead showed Reid charged Nelson $704,600 between 1998 and 2003 for the sale of 496 cadavers donated to the willed body program. California state law forbids the sale of body parts for profit.
The center cannot account for how many body parts had been shipped under its Willed Body Program
(WBP) from November 2000 to May 2002, but the parts may have been sent to as many as 60 research programs nationwide.
"The Orange County Register began its investigation last November after allegations that the head of the Willed Body Program
at the University of California at Irvine profited from the sale of donated body parts," the paper said in the first article of the series.