The Body Business

With one signature you can save a life. But what else happens to the skin, bones and organs you donate? And who’s making money from

The Body Business

The Body Business (Credit: News 12 Long Island/Newsday)

With one signature you can save a life. But what else happens to the skin, bones and tissue you donate? And who’s making money from it? Beginning today---News 12 and Newsday take you inside a world where pieces of people equal profits. Don’t miss “The Body Business”---a Newsday/News 12 Investigative report.

Series at a glance:

Part 1: The Donor Game

When you sign an organ donation card, you’re giving a gift of life. But you also may be contributing to the bottom line of a multinational industry that processes donated bodies into medical products.

Part 2: Bugs in the System

If a batch of bad beef gets out, there’s a recall. But critics say there’s nothing similar to protect consumers from medical products made from infected body parts. Dozens of Long Islanders found out about that---the hard way.

Part 3:  “The Body Snatcher”

Michael Mastromarino made a living stealing body parts from local funeral homes---and providing them to medical companies eager to receive them.
 

Related Information:
Four-part International Consortium of Investigation
NYS Health Department: Organ and tissue donations
NYS Department of Motor Vehicles: Organ and tissue donation
Three-part NPR "All Things Considered" 

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