Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "organ donors" ...

  • Human Tissue Donation

    It’s a billion dollar business that begins with an act of generosity: When someone or their family agrees to donate a person’s body, for free, after death. When they click the “donor” box on their driver’s license application, most organ donors don’t realize that they have also agreed to donate their tissue. They’ve made a legally binding promise that a private company can take skin, bones, tendons, ligaments and anything that’s not a living organ—and turn it into for-profit medical products. In a four part radio series that aired in July 2012, NPR Correspondent Joseph Shapiro highlighted this little known industry and the shortcomings in regulation that raise concerns among donors, medical professionals, and government officials at many levels. The series was part of a collaboration between NPR’s Investigative Unit and the International Consortium for of Investigative Journalists, a project of the Center for Public Integrity.
  • Lives on the Line: Organ donors face unforeseen dangers

    Despite the increasing number of organ transplants each year in the United States, there is little regulation by the government. In addition, no national registry exists to track donors after their procedures. This investigation focuses on how this lack of regulation and tracking not only affects who can donate, but also the lives of those who try to help others. This series also chronicles the complications surrounding live organ donations, including permanent physical damage and even death.
  • Ethical problems plagued brain donations in Maine

    This investigation documented the many problems and flaws with a brain-harvesting program run by the state. Problems range from the fact that the man who coordinated the program was paid on a "per-brain basis" and used unethical tactics to solicit consent from families of the deceased. Furthermore, the state medical examiner was linked to both the brain harvester and the researchers who used the brains.
  • The Body Brokers

    An Orange County Register investigation of organ donations revealed that "American businesses make hundreds of millions of dollars selling products crafted from human bodies, even though it is illegal to profit from cadaver parts." The Register found that private businesses get around the law by establishing financial and other questionable links to nonprofit organ or tissue banks.
  • Waiting for Life

    The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports "how organs are allocated to transplant recipients. It found that where people lived affected the likelihood of receiving an organ and the waiting time for an operation..... One (Medical College of Virginia) lung transplant patient waits; the other patient cuts short her wait by going elsewhere, crossing a little-known boundary that keeps donated organs in Fairfax, (Va.) Now, patients and federal officials are asking if such arbitrary borders leave too many to die..."
  • Organ Donors

    WBUR Radio (Boston) airs a three-part series connecting the national shortage of donor organs to physicians ignoring laws that require them to inform families of suitable donors about donation, Sept. 5 - 7, 1989.
  • (Untitled)

    National Law Journal examines the legal debate over the use of one person's body parts to treat another's illness; finds no laws governing the use of tissues and cells, Dec. 7, 1987.