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Scarlette’s organs removed in Goa

The missing vital organs from the body of murdered Scarlette Keeling will be destroyed soon despite the wishes of her mother, report Barney Henderson & Gigil Varghese.
Hindustan Times | By Barney Henderson & Gigil Varghese, Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 16, 2008 01:24 AM IST

The missing vital organs from the body of murdered 15-year-old Briton Scarlette Keeling will be destroyed soon despite the wishes of her mother to bury her daughter’s complete body.

HT reported on April 6 that the third autopsy carried out in Britain revealed that Scarlette’s uterus, stomach, spleen and kidneys were removed in India without permission.

Police in Goa are now saying the organs are with the Goa Medical College and they will be destroyed when all testing is complete rather than returning them to Britain.

"The organs were taken out for medical examination and there is no question of anything going wrong," JP Singh, Goa’s chief secretary said on Tuesday.

However, medical practice in India is to remove a slice for testing — not the entire organ.

"You only need to take 100g samples in total of all organs put together for testing — the uterus, spleen, kidney, liver and stomach," said Dr Rukmani Krishnamurthy, director of the Forensic Science Laboratory, Kalina.

The combined weight of the missing organs is estimated at 1,500g by Dr Rajan Dere of Sion Hospital. “Only under extreme circumstances can the whole organ be removed.”

Police in Goa say they will not return the organs. “They were removed for testing and are with the laboratory. There is no question of returning the organs now,” said Bosco George, SP, Goa North.

Fiona MacKeown told HT she is “shocked and disturbed” by the fact that many parts of her daughter’s body are missing and she wants to bury her daughter’s body whole. MacKeown is planning to bury Scarlette on her land in Devon in the next two weeks.

Family lawyer Vikram Varma is considering legal action.

“We will move this issue in the court if we have to,” Varma said. “All over the world only a slice of the organ is permissible to be removed. To remove the entire organ, the written consent of the family is needed and subsequently the organ is donated for medical research.”

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