It's illegal to buy and sell human organs in the United States, but trading in cadaver limbs, skin, ligaments and veins is a billion-dollar industry that makes it possible for doctors to rebuild knees, repair weak bones and fuse teeth implants.
As the federal criminal case concluded this week against Philip Guyett, who ran a business in Raleigh that harvested transplant tissue at local funeral homes, profit motive emerged as a factor behind a scheme which allowed potentially diseased body parts to be used in at least 127 unsuspecting patients around the country.
Guyett, sentenced to eight years in prison, admitted to forging records and manipulating laboratory tests on at least eight donors who were either too old or sick to be eligible for tissue donation. Federal investigators found questionable records for another 40 donors, involving 2,600 human tissue products that went into the marketplace throughout the world.
And while the industry is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and policed by a private accrediting agency, Guyett operated Donor Referral Services in Raleigh and Las Vegas for nearly two years with little scrutiny, while collecting as much as $9,000 on the body parts of a single donor.Read this storynewsobserver.com