The human body tissues industry consists of the harvesting of human body tissue, the manufacture of tissues products and the distribution of both. Human body tissue is used in several medical procedures, including bone and skin grafts, dental implants and organ transplants. The tissue used in these procedures is collected by tissue banks from universities, morgues, funeral homes and hospitals. The human tissue industry is highly unregulated in the United States, which has led to the transfer of disease to patients receiving tissue grafts. In February 2006 the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Biomedical Tissue Services, Ltd., a tissue collection and distribution company, to cease distributing tissue products as a result of medical and ethical violations uncovered by an extensive investigation.
New Jersey Law Suit Highlights Body Tissue Scandal
A recent New Jersey lawsuit involving the illegal sale of human body tissue is shedding light on a scandalous issue in the medical community: human body tissue sales performed without the consent or knowledge of the deceased. The lawsuit in question was filed in New Jersey against Biomedical Tissue Services, a human tissue company located in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and a funeral home in Brighton, New Jersey.
The lawsuit was filed in the state Supreme Court and is the third such case brought in New Jersey courts against Biomedical Tissue Services, which has come under fire in recent years for performing “harvests” of human body tissue (including bones, skin and other tissues) from cadavers without first obtaining the proper permissions or performing appropriate testing for communicable diseases and infections. Biomedical Tissue Services is said to have sold over 25,000 tissue samples to hospitals for use in surgical procedures.
The suit, which was brought by the survivors of Nancy E. Chamberlain, who died at age 71, alleges that Biomedical Tissue Services used tissue from Ms. Chamberlain’s cadaver without acquiring familial consent. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that the funeral home failed to inform the family that the tissue was being harvested.
BMT: Under Fire
Biomedical Tissue Services has relationships with funeral homes nationwide and has recently come under fire with hundreds of lawsuits from both the families of decedents whose cadavers were raided for tissue without permission and tissue transplant patients who fell victim to diseases and infections when they were given diseased tissue transplants.
The company was ordered to cease manufacturing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2006, citing “serious and widespread deficiencies” in the company’s tissue manufacturing practices. The order cited falsified death certificates, cross-contamination of tissues, inadequate screening practices, and other actions that lead to a health crisis related to tissue transplants, most of which are irreversible procedures.
Human Body Tissue – A Continued Scandal
The case against Biomedical Tissue Services is just one among many; the issue of improprieties surrounding the harvesting and transplantation of human body tissue is a serious one that affects millions of Americans. Human body tissue ethics violations range from funeral parlors running illegal stolen tissue rings to ongoing health and safety violations and failure to follow standard procedure when providing human body tissue for donation to those in need of tissue transplants for dental procedures, back surgery, heart-valve replacements, joint replacements, and skin grafts.
If you or someone you love has been affected by a diseased body tissue transplant or has experienced the theft of human body tissue, contact an attorney immediately. Your human body tissue attorney can help assess your case and any potential monetary damage, file your claim with the proper authorities and courts, and help you recover the money you rightfully deserve for medical treatment, pain and suffering and other damages.
Human Tissue Scandal Rocks Medical World
In February 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered human body tissue recovery and distribution company Biomedical Tissue Services, Ltd. to cease manufacturing human body tissue. The report was the culmination of a years-long investigation into ethical and health violations in the recovery of human body tissue to be used in transplants, skin grafts and other medical procedures. With the order, the FDA both recalled Biomedical Tissue Services’ existing tissue products and prevented the firm from any further manufacture of tissue products, citing repeated violations of body tissue regulations.
The Human Body Tissue Industry – An Overview
Human body tissue is harvested and used in a variety of medical procedures, including, but not limited to bone and skin grafts, dental implants and organ transplants. These tissues are acquired by so-called “tissue banks” from universities, morgues, hospitals, and funeral homes. The tissue banks are regulated by federal and state laws which require them to report these acquisitions to the family members of the deceased and perform industry-standard tests to determine whether the tissues are free of disease and fit for donation. The FDA has submitted detailed rules that regulate every aspect of the human tissue industry’s acquisition and distribution process in an effort to prevent dangerous infected tissues from getting onto the market.