The regulations on centers for donating the body to science must be overhauled as part of the bioethics bill, said the Minister of Higher Education, Frédérique Vidal, Tuesday, June 8, after the scandal of the “mass grave” of the Paris-Descartes University.
The investigation into the body donation center (CDC), which resulted in the indictment on Friday June 4 of Frédéric Dardel, former president of the University of Paris-Descartes, showed ” at what point [la France] manqu[ait] of regulations and legislation ” concerning these centers (of which there are 28 in the country), underlined the minister in an interview granted to the daily The cross.
The implication of Mr. Dardel comes after the indictment, in December 2020 and April 2021 (also for “attacking the integrity of a corpse”), of two former preparers of the CDC, and after that of the ‘University of Paris (formerly Paris-Descartes, after the merger in January 2020 with its colleague Paris-Diderot and with the Institut de physique du globe), on April 15, for the same leader. At this stage, 170 relatives of the deceased have lodged a complaint against X before the Paris prosecutor’s office.
Odor of putrefaction, dismembered and unused bodies, blackouts in cold rooms, mass incineration, proliferation of flies, worms and rats … In November 2019, Frédérique Vidal had ordered the closure of the Paris-Descartes center, considered as the Mecca of French anatomy, after the revelation by the weekly L’Express from “Indecent conditions” conservation of the remains of “Thousands of people who donated their bodies”.
A clearer charter and consent form
These revelations had led the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation to order the closure of the “temple of French anatomy”, founded in 1953, and which hosted several hundred bodies each year. In June 2020, an administrative inquiry estimated that Paris-Descartes University was responsible for “Serious ethical breaches” in the management of the CDC.
The only law that exists about these centers “Dated from 1887”, points out Frédérique Vidal in her interview with The cross. “The bioethics bill, currently under consideration (in Parliament), will allow us to overhaul all of these regulations”, develops the minister, who had launched a working group on the subject. Also, the “Ethical framework” will be ” demanding “, with a “Essential free”, the establishment of a multidisciplinary committee, a “Informed consent of the donor and information of the families”.
A charter will explain in particular how the body will be stored and used, by defining “Much more clearly the fields of use, which can only concern learning or research”, in anatomy or in surgery. And this time the consent form “Will indicate more precisely the wishes of the deceased, the relations to have with relatives at the time of death or funeral”.