The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has demanded that Ukrainian authorities seriously investigate claims that newborn children are being stolen for adoptions or for their body parts. The PACE rapporteur, Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold, says that she was concerned about the fate of more than 300 babies. Requests for information by family members have been thwarted by bureaucracy, incompetence and even threats of physical violence. Hospital authorities vehemently deny the allegations.
The London Times has highlighted two cases in Maternity Hospital No 6 in Kharkov which newborns were taken away immediately after birth. Their parents were told that the child had been stillborn. However, there are many suspicious errors in the paperwork for these cases. When the hospital was forced to exhume the bodies of infants from a mass grave, it was discovered that many of them had had their internal organs removed.
One possibility is that body parts are being sold for research into bio-products for medicine and cosmetics. Hospital authorities say flatly that there is no medical use for foetuses. However, the Times points out that the Institute for Problems of Cryobiology and Cryomedicine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Kharkov advertises a vast range of human tissue for sale on its website. These include embyronic liver cells, foetal liver cells, ovary tissue, and cerebral tissue.
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