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ORGAN SNATCH CRISIS DEEPENS; Five more hospitals accused.

FIVE more hospitals were yesterday accused of hoarding dead children's organs without permission as Scotland's body-snatching scandal deepened.

Geraldine MacDonald, from the Scottish Organisation Relating to the Retention of Organs (SORRO), made the shocking claims as new guidelines on removing and testing body tissues were issued to doctors.

Stirling Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock, Stobhill Hospital and the Southern General, in Glasgow, were accused as parents again called for a public inquiry.

The Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill, in Glasgow, has already admitted taking and storing organs since the 1960s.

The Royal Hospital for Sick Children, in Edinburgh, was accused of similar practices in September.

SORRO yesterday said 62 parents claim to have proof or suspicions their children's organs - including hearts, lungs and brains - had been taken without their permission.

They said they had letters from health bosses admitting it, except for those involving Aberdeen Royal and Crosshouse.

Last night Stirling Royal, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh and Aberdeen Royal denied the claims.

A spokesman for the Edinburgh hospital said organs were only retained with parental consent.

A spokesman at Aberdeen Royal said they always asked parents for permission except when the procurator fiscal ordered a probe.

The fresh revelations will heap pressure on Health Minister Susan Deacon, who last month rejected pleas from bereaved parents for a public inquiry and ordered a review of procedures in children's hospitals.

Yesterday Mrs MacDonald, whose son Martin's organs were taken after his death 18 years ago, said: "Only a full public inquiry can set parents' minds at rest and ensure public confidence."

As SORRO said they want to be a criminal offence to remove organs without consent, the BMA have issued doctors with new guidelines.

Scottish secretary of the BMA Dr Bill O'Neill said: "Relatives, where they want the information, should be given all of the details of what's involved in the post mortem."
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Author:Mellor, James
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 31, 2000
Words:321
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