25 years later, the story of a Halifax hospital and a U.K. organ-hoarding scandal – CBC

Former colleagues of Dr. Dick van Velzen offer new details of his time at the IWK

Dec 20, 2023

On Jan. 18, 1998, Kent Dooley sat across from a brilliant pediatric pathologist with a devoted following at Halifax’s IWK Grace children’s and maternity hospital and told him he was fired.

The move by Dooley, the head of pathology and laboratory services, was bewildering to many outside the division.

“‘I sure hope you have a good reason for this,'” Dooley recalls the hospital’s head of obstetrics telling him later that day.

“‘Yeah, I do,'” he replied. “‘And I can’t tell you what it is.'”

That polarizing moment, it later turned out, would save the hospital from the riptide of a macabre scandal that exploded less than two years later on the other side of the Atlantic.

It was revealed that the organs, including hearts and brains, from more than 850 infants were being stored in the cellars of a building used by the Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool, England, stripped from the bodies of dead children and stockpiled without their parents’ consent.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/iwk-hospital-halifax-uk-organ-hoarding-scandal-1.7062671

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