- British pathologists removed the brains
from tens of thousands of human corpses over a period of 30
years without the permission of the victims' relatives, the
government acknowledged on Monday.
In a sinister reminder of scandals in the late 1990s, when
hospitals were found to have secretly kept the hearts of dead
children for research purposes, the government said the illicit
removal of brains had been "widespread in the 1970s,
It said the true scale of the scandal would never be known
because records from the 1970s were sketchy and many of the
brains had been used for research or destroyed in the
But the government's Inspector of Anatomy, Jeremy Metters,
told a news conference that of 30,000 brains in storage in
2000, when a major count of stored organs was carried out,
than half were probably taken without permission.