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19 Brown J. World Aff. 243 (2012-2013)
The Body of the Enemy

handle is hein.journals/brownjwa19 and id is 491 raw text is: The Body of the Enemy
Professor                         International Journalist
University of California, Berkeley  Donald Bostrrm Media AB
THE BIOMEDICAL ABUSE AND PLUNDER of dead bodies for usable organs and tis-
sues is a widespread and extremely controversial practice that continues to this
day. This article documents a troubling history of abuse of dead bodies that were
brought to the Israeli National Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir (a
neighborhood ofTel Aviv) for autopsy during the crucial and tumultuous period
between 1988 and October 2012. Allegations of tissue and organ confiscation
were longstanding, beginning in 1999 when a newly trained Israeli patholo-
gist, Dr. Chen Kugel, joined the institute and realized that something was very
wrong. He observed legal autopsies ending in illicit dissections; he witnessed
the removal and retention of organs, tissues, and other body parts that were                  243
later stockpiled and distributed for various ends that included medical training,
scientific research, pseudoresearch, and skin and cornea transplants. Dr. Kugel
sought to make the institute's administration aware of the illicit practices of
individuals such as Dr. Yehuda Hiss, a state-appointed senior pathologist who
served as the institute's first director. Dr. Kugel's efforts were initially rebuffed by
the government, which set up a weak investigation of the situation and ultimately
failed attempts to clean up the institute in order to rescue its reputation. The
struggle also cost the ethical pathologist his position. As long as the story was
kept inside Israel, the government and the Israeli Ministry of Health tolerated
the illicit and arguably criminal practices.'
NAicy SCHEPER-HUGHES is professor and chair of the doctoral program of medical anthropology at the
University of California, Berkeley. The author of a dozen books, edited volumes, monographs, and 300
scholarly articles, she is director of Organs Watch, a medical human rights project, advisor to the World
Health Organization and the UN Office on Drugs and Organized Crime, and alumni member of the
Institute for Advanced Study's School of Social Science in Princeton, NJ.
DONALD BOSTROM has reported from more than 60 countries around the world for newspapers, magazines,
and TV channels since his first interview with Yasser Arafat in 1985. He is the author of eight books, three
of which are cookbooks, and has been awarded for his coverage of conflict in the Middle East.
Copyright @ 2013 by the Brown Journal ofWorldAffairs


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