French authorities are probing claims that human bodies donated for science were left to rot and be eaten by rats at a Paris university research center, according to a report.
The probe comes after an investigation by French newspaper L’Express, published in November last year, detailed how thousands of bodies were found in vile conditions at the Centre for Body Donations of Paris Descartes University, The Guardian reports.
The newspaper, describing the scene photographed in 2016, said naked corpses were dismembered and haphazardly stacked on top of one another or discarded in overflowing garbage bags.
Some body parts were decomposing while others were gnawed by rats, the newspaper reported, according to The Guardian. A severed head was also found on the floor.
The grisly discovery caused the French government to shut down the center while prosecutors launched an investigation. But this week, prosecutors handed over the “violations of the integrity of a corpse” investigation to French magistrates, the Paris prosecutor’s office announced Thursday.
“This is very good news,” said Fredereic Douchez, a lawyer for the families, who added that the magistrates have much wider powers to get to the bottom of what happened, the newspaper reports.
The research center, which opened in 1953, was one of the largest in Europe and received hundreds of donated cadavers a year, The Guardian said. Almost 80 complaints have been filed against the center.
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