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Doctor could be struck off; child body parts scandal.

THE existence of Alder Hey's heart collection first emerged in September 1999 during the public inquiry into the deaths of babies at Bristol Royal Infirmary.

A month later, after hundreds of calls from concerned parents, the Liverpool hospital admitted other organs had been stockpiled.

The inquiry into the Alder Hey scandal found that in addition to over 2,000 children's hearts built up since 1948, there were also a large number of brain parts, eyes taken from foetuses, and over 1,500 stillbirths or foetuses obtained without consent.

Some date back years but the number increased dramatically under Professor Dick van Velzen, who "systematically stripped" children of organs.

He faces being struck off by the General Medical Council and possible criminal charges.

The inquiry report said the large store of organs remained largely unused for research or education during Prof Velzen's time from 1988 to 1995.

And the "inept handling" of the return of organs by Alder Hey after the scandal broke resulted in some parents facing third or fourth funerals.

Four NHS staff have been suspended.

The professor, who is wanted by police in Canada after organs were found in his possessions, had falsified records.

CAPTION(S):

CASTIGATED BY REPORT: Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool built up a stockpile of organs from children, and (below) Professor Dick van Velzen
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 31, 2001
Words:220
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