The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has issued a nationwide recall of an unknown number of body parts shipped to approximately 60 academic institutions, teaching hospitals, and clinics between November 2000 and May 2002. Due to poor record keeping, officials at the Texas medical school have been unable to determine if the body parts had been tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. The university has fired Allen Tyler Jr., the person who was in charge of the medical school's Willed Bodies Program, and has temporarily halted the transfer of cadavers to other programs. The Galveston center's program is the only one in Texas that accepts bodies from the state prison, and according to Melinda Mora, manager of the Willed Body Program at Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, the risk of disease is greater in Galveston because HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C occur at a higher rate in prisons than in the general population. This recall has been the latest mix that has shaken Galveston's medical center since it was revealed last month that Mr. Tyler may have sold donated body parts willed to the institution for personal profit. Ashes of cremated bodies were allegedly commingled so that grieving families received ashes from various bodies, not just their loved ones. The FBI is currently investigating the allegations against Mr. Tyler, and a number of civil lawsuits have been filed. For more information regarding this story, users may access the first four news links above. Users interested in Galveston's medical program may access the fifth link, which leads to the University of Texas Medical Center's home page.
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