Whither Our Useful Friends, the Corpses?

April 23, 1907
Los Angeles
Traffic in the Dead was the topic before the Board of Supervisors today.  There is a “disgraceful scrabble for bodies,” stated Supervisor Alexander, chairman of the County Hospital Committee.  Supervisor Patterson remarked as well that “the officials of the institutions where these poor unfortunates die are simply hounded for the bodies.”  It seems that while forty-six cadavers of unclaimed indigents were, in March alone, distributed among the the likes of the Los Angeles College of Osteopathy, Pacific College of Osteopathy, USC and the College of Physicians, there was still a shortage, despite the contention of A. B. Shaw of Los Angeles College of Osteopathy that “the death rate at the County Hospital is much in excess of any proper need of all the medical schools of this county.”  In the interest of rational cadaver distribution (especially one carried out in more seemly a manner), permits shall now henceforth be issued to those qualified Angelenos who, in the interest of anatomical research, approach poor houses, public hospitals, county jails, State prisons and undertakers for pickings.

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