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Collectors pay huge sums for aborted foetuses watch

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    I don't normally post here but this article was simply too horific not to be publisised (my spelling is awful today!)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...01/ixhome.html

    If you can't access that then it's here:

    Collectors pay more than £5000 for dead foetuses
    The Sunday Telegraph

    Dead babies are being traded for thousands of pounds by a secretive network of collectors who prize them as trophies.

    The children, who were either stillborn or aborted as foetuses, are being kept in people's homes after being sold by medical institutions or schools that are closing down.

    Specimens are changing hands for more than £5,000 each.

    Last night, the Royal College of Surgeons of England described the trade, which is legal, as "horrific" and "wholly inappropriate".

    Simon Chaplin, a senior curator of the Royal College's museum collections, said: "I am absolutely horrified at the idea that such things are being bought and sold on the open market and that individuals want to collect such things in their homes.

    "These things exist in medical institutions as collections of anatomic specimens traditionally to be used for teaching purposes, and are not regarded as collectors' curiosities. I am very disappointed to learn that schools are selling off their exhibits to private individuals. It is wholly inappropriate."

    The trade in aborted and stillborn babies is conducted clandestinely, but The Telegraph found some of those involved by posing as a potential buyer.

    One of the traders involved is Robert Hudson, 38, who runs a shop in Newquay, Cornwall.

    Mr Hudson, who also sells human bones and the remains of various animals and has a small museum of artefacts, does not openly display his collection of late-term foetuses, which include a two-headed baby and various other deformed remains.

    All his specimens were, he said, from the Victorian era. He also has a 12-week aborted foetus.

    Referring to his two-headed foetus, Mr Hudson said that he bought it several years ago for a few hundred pounds, but he believed that its market value would now be much higher.

    "I know where there's one almost identical to this, but it's got stitching down the front where they did an autopsy, and that's $10,000 (£5,500).

    "There is a pair of Siamese twins at the moment, and $10,000 was the last bid I heard, which I thought was quite cheap."

    "There's a place in Denmark that is selling its collection. I bid five grand on a box that was there.

    "I know there are four skeletons, some foetal skeletons and a bunch of pickled stuff, including some foetus stuff, a hand, a foot and stuff like that."

    Mr Hudson, who was convicted last March of smuggling the skulls of endangered monkeys into Britain from Africa, said he had little interest in fully developed foetuses, but that other buyers were.

    "I draw the line at a bit bigger. I was offered two twins. They were from the States: two perfect baby foetuses - 38 weeks, something like that - and I just went 'no' . Someone will buy them. They were about £1,200 - really cheap. They were from a university."

    Current guidelines - introduced in 2003 following a report into the scandal five years ago at Alder Hey hospital, Merseyside, where organs from dead children were removed without the parents' permission - state that the consent of the patient or relatives must be obtained before human tissue can be removed and retained.

    These rules are due to be tightened under the Human Tissue Bill, which is currently before Parliament.

    Human tissue that is more than 100 years old is exempt from the existing regulations, however, and will not be covered by the new legislation.

    Medical institutions that do not display to the public will also be unaffected by the legislation. They are allowed to dispose of their collections in any way they see fit.

    Another owner of foetuses is Robert Sclare, 56, who runs a taxidermy business in north London called Get Stuffed. His shop is currently selling stuffed animals, including a tiger and a snow leopard.

    Mr Sclare, who was sentenced to six months in prison in 2000 for forging licences to allow him to import rare animals for stuffing, showed an undercover reporter a 14-week foetus he keeps in a jar, but declined to sell it.

    When asked about human specimens, he revealed a human head and amputated hand he keeps in plastic bags out of sight of customers.

    He said the advent of the internet, which has made it easier for prospective purchasers to submit bids, had sent prices soaring.

    "We have human bits and pieces - we all do, and we like to keep them to ourselves, and things that are sold are astronomically expensive. I have been offered £25,000 for the mummified head. There have been a couple of deals done with Japanese and they paid monstrous money, and consequently shockwaves went round those that have got items. Suddenly, the anatomical specimens are fetching thousands."

    Alexis Turner, a dealer in antique natural history from East Molesey, Surrey, said he was keen to start selling human "curiosities" and had been approached by people wanting to buy and sell such specimens.

    "I was recently offered a crate from some kind of medical institution," he said.

    "It contains all sorts of stuff: pickled foetuses, deformities etc. As with anything of this nature, the market is a very small market, but a very keen market.

    "Anything that is classed as antique shouldn't pose a problem legally. It may be seen as distasteful, but I don't think it will be a problem. I have seen pictures of deformed babies with little bonnets on. Those are really sought-after, but are very, very rare."

    Mr Turner added: "There are also people in the medical world who collect this sort of thing on the quiet. In fact, I know of one retired doctor who keeps a pickled foetus on his bedside table."

    A Department of Health spokesman said: "Specimens that were collected more than 100 years ago do not need to be licensed. Nor will they when the Human Tissues Bill comes in, as it will not affect specimens if they have been dead for more than 100 years. Human tissues that have been collected more recently are an entirely different matter and are subject to much stricter guidelines."

    A spokesman for the anti-abortion ProLife Alliance called for the Bill to be amended to outlaw the trade, and said the foetuses should be confiscated and buried or cremated.

    She added: "This is horrifying and upsetting and people will be shocked by this revelation. There is a respect due to human beings at all stages and this shows a total disregard."
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    OMG!!! It shocks me to think there are people out there that think doing this is okay.
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    I think that this news report is very alarmist and is blowing this out of all proportion. The fact of the matter is that the foetuses which are being legally sold are over 100 years old. The more recent foetuses are being sold illegally and this should be addressed. Many Hospitals have organs including foetuses preserved it isn't uncommon but most are over 100 years old. I don't see why this is considered a problem. I mean personally I wouldn't want to buy one but people like different things. There are people who have mummys in private collections and I don't think that this is any different.
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    This reminds me of an 'artist' who stuck to two aborted foetuses to his artwork at a public gallery just to get noticed. He was then subsequently arrested and convicted.

    Why do people like having dead matter in the house?

    Talk about immoral....
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    (Original post by randdom)
    I think that this news report is very alarmist and is blowing this out of all proportion. The fact of the matter is that the foetuses which are being legally sold are over 100 years old. The more recent foetuses are being sold illegally and this should be addressed. Many Hospitals have organs including foetuses preserved it isn't uncommon but most are over 100 years old. I don't see why this is considered a problem. I mean personally I wouldn't want to buy one but people like different things. There are people who have mummys in private collections and I don't think that this is any different.
    I agree with Random on this one. I don't see a makor problem with what is going on (its not like the feutus means anything to anyone if it >99 years old. However I have to say that its a bit sickening to think that people want to collect these kinds of things.
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    *goes to have sex in a graveyard with people dead over 100 years (with a vampiress), in particular using the tombstone*

    Now what do you think.....
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    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    This reminds me of an 'artist' who stuck to two aborted foetuses to his artwork at a public gallery just to get noticed. He was then subsequently arrested and convicted.

    Why do people like having dead matter in the house?

    Talk about immoral....
    Is it worse to own "dead matter" than to render the matter dead?
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    Is it worse to own "dead matter" than to render the matter dead?
    How do you mean precisely?
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    Is it worse to own "dead matter" than to render the matter dead?
    I meant that people seem more concerned about what becomes of dead or aborted foetuses than about whether they are dead or aborted in the first place. If a foetus deserves respect and consideration after it has died or been aborted, then it deserves it before. If a foetus can be destroyed for someone's convenience, then it is raw material for others to use as they please.
    I am not concerned with the merits of abortion here, but simply with logic.
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    I am not concerned with the merits of abortion here, but simply with logic.
    in that case your post is totally irrelevant.

    From reading the article these are medical 'samples' that have been sold off. We don't know why they were aborted or even whether the abortion was natural or not.

    The fact is that it is human tissue, many people would be happy for a sample of human tissue to be used for research but not for display as a curiosity. Eg I had my appendix removed - I would be happy for it to be stuck in a bottle for a medical student to examine but not for it to be sold to a collector.
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    (Original post by sashh)
    in that case your post is totally irrelevant.
    Not at all. if it is legal with a hundred year-old foetus, why not one five minutes old?

    From reading the article these are medical 'samples' that have been sold off. We don't know why they were aborted or even whether the abortion was natural or not.
    Precisely

    The fact is that it is human tissue, many people would be happy for a sample of human tissue to be used for research but not for display as a curiosity.
    They are specifically foetuses. Are there collectors of appendices? Samuel Pepys kept his kidney stone as a memento, which is part way there.
    Eg I had my appendix removed - I would be happy for it to be stuck in a bottle for a medical student to examine but not for it to be sold to a collector.
    Why? That is the curious thing. After all, excrement is human tissue and we dispose of that very quickly. There is, i think, a kind of hierarchy of human tissue, according to how far we recognise it as human. A Spanish general insisted that his amputated leg be given a full military funeral, which is comical to most of us, yet it makes as much sense in a way as the fuss being made here.
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    :eek: I cant actually think of anything to say other than, i am gobsmacked.
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    Is it worse to own "dead matter" than to render the matter dead?
    I meant that people seem more concerned about what becomes of dead or aborted foetuses than about whether they are dead or aborted in the first place. If a foetus deserves respect and consideration after it has died or been aborted, then it deserves it before. If a foetus can be destroyed for someone's convenience, then it is raw material for others to use as they please.
    I am not concerned with the merits of abortion here, but simply with logic.
    I agree. However I feel that many people appreciate my logic. You can check my posts if you must

    Besides I have a some dead matter on me right now, hair
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    Is it worse to own "dead matter" than to render the matter dead?
    I meant that people seem more concerned about what becomes of dead or aborted foetuses than about whether they are dead or aborted in the first place. If a foetus deserves respect and consideration after it has died or been aborted, then it deserves it before. If a foetus can be destroyed for someone's convenience, then it is raw material for others to use as they please.
    I am not concerned with the merits of abortion here, but simply with logic.
    Agreed, a foetus is just dead matter. While i see your point about abortion not giving the foetus much respect, i am more concerned with the fact that i do not believe many people who have had an abortion would be happy to know their foetus has been sold as a piece of art. I was shocked to learn of this practice, as it shows utter disregard and lack of respect for the creator of the foetus, who is very much alive, very much has rights and is entitled to respect. This issue is one of consent.
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    (Original post by Dajo123)
    Agreed, a foetus is just dead matter. While i see your point about abortion not giving the foetus much respect, i am more concerned with the fact that i do not believe many people who have had an abortion would be happy to know their foetus has been sold as a piece of art. I was shocked to learn of this practice, as it shows utter disregard and lack of respect for the creator of the foetus, who is very much alive, very much has rights and is entitled to respect. This issue is one of consent.
    It did say in the article that these foetuses and other body parts are only exemped from the law if they are over 100 years old. So it is probably hard to find people who either care or are able to give concent.
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    (Original post by randdom)
    It did say in the article that these foetuses and other body parts are only exemped from the law if they are over 100 years old. So it is probably hard to find people who either care or are able to give concent.
    LOL.......LOL. OOOooops, I started to read the link and the first line was "Dead Babies" so i immediately stopped reading, as its silly when people use such emotive words to describe a foetus, hence my assumption they were from the modern era
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    Not at all. if it is legal with a hundred year-old foetus, why not one five minutes old?
    My point is not about the legality but the use. It is necessary to keep certain specimins for medical use, research and training. It is not neccessary for hospitals to then sell these samples. If someone gives permission for their body (or their next of kin's body) to be used as art then that is a different matter, but if the sample has been taken for medical use then it should not be sold as art or a collector's item.
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    It seems a bit twisted to want to collect dead babies - however old they are.

    And I know using the word baby personifies somethig that has not yet been born, but if you sing, talk, play music or watch television with a child in the mother's womb, they recognise it when it is born.

    Ugh, just the thought of it gives me the creeps - medical research is okay, but owning dead people - however old is scary.
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    I wonder if people would be reacting as badly if the article was about the trade in skeletons...

    And is the trade in human remains really that different from the trade in animal remains - stuffed animals, deers' heads etc.?
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    (Original post by magicalsausage)
    I wonder if people would be reacting as badly if the article was about the trade in skeletons...

    And is the trade in human remains really that different from the trade in animal remains - stuffed animals, deers' heads etc.?
    Some people who reacted to the above scenario would also oppose taxidermy and skeleton trading.

    RIR
 
 
 
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