RE: Specimen containers and "confidentiality"

From:"J. A. Kiernan" <>

On Wed, 17 Jan 2001 wrote:

> Here's a horror story that I'm pretty sure is not an "urban legend" - 
> according to one of the PATHO-L contributors, anti-abortion crazies in the 
> Houston area look for fetuses in hospital trash, in order to harass the 
> mothers - as determined by the container label! (Can you imagine a grieving 
> parent having to put up with THAT!)

It is indeed difficult to imagine a greater cause 
for grief than having paid a man to kill a baby.

The report you quote probably is an "urban legend" because 
abortionists do not put the fetus, placenta etc in labelled
containers; they use a device similar or identical to a kitchen
garbarettor to quickly mince all the extracted material and send
it into the public drains. This disposal method was widely
reported in Canadian newspapers in the early 1980s, when police 
raids on blatantly illegal (at the time) abortoria nearly
always failed to retrieve material evidence of the crime. 

 John A. Kiernan,
 Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology,
 The University of Western Ontario,
 LONDON,  Canada  N6A 5C1
   Phone: (519) 661-2111
   FAX (Department): (519) 661-3936

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