Intended for healthcare professionals


New York University medical cadavers found in mass grave

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 06 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3178
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Bodies donated to New York University’s medical school have been found in unmarked mass graves on Hart Island, where New York City buries the dead it considers unclaimed and indigent. The donors, while living, had signed forms assuring them that their remains would be either returned to their families or cremated once the school had finished using them.

The number of donors to end up on Hart Island is likely to remain a mystery. A New York Times analysis of data held on 62 000 burials by the nonprofit Hart Island Project found hundreds of bodies that had been buried one to three years after their death. Most of these were believed to be medical cadavers. But there have been …

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