Tuesday December 1, 2015
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I am happy to report that Michael Mastromarino died at the relatively young age of 49 last Sunday after battling liver and bone cancer. And frankly, I hope he got it by using some of his own products.
What? How can a person like me say such a thing?
Because it seems like poetic justice, that's how. The man may have killed God only knows how many people by selling body tissues that should never have been reused.
Back when I first started doing this forum I read about something so sick that I decided not to report on it. A New Jersey dentist lost his license because he was addicted to drugs. He looked around and found a nice easy way to make a crooked buck, and in doing it he did something so reprehensible I just did not care to report on it.
To begin with, he made deals with a equally network of crooked undertakers who he paid up to $1,000 for each corpse they would let him have. Then he removed tissues, faked paperwork that showed he had obtained consent from loved ones, processed the tissues, and made a very nice living out of it by being a modern day body-snatcher.
Not concerned about any disease the tissues might pass on to someone else, he sometimes took tissue that should have been rejected — tissue even from people who had died of AIDS or cancer — and then made up documents to show a more benign cause of death.
In fact, The family of British journalist Alistair Cooke was shocked to find out Mastromarino had obtained the body of the host of the PBS series Masterpiece Theatre. Cooke died of cancer in 2004.
(It gets worse!)
These were not transplant organs. They were other tissues -- tendons, ligaments, skin, bones, heart valves and corneas, all of which can be recovered, sterilized and turned into medical products. A tendon from a cadaver can be used to repair a torn knee ligament. Veins are used in heart bypass operations. Bone can be crushed into powder and used to help mend a broken leg or build up the jaw around a dental implant. The reuse of such tissues is a blessing because at times they are the only certain way of bringing a patient back to good health.
But AIDS? Cancer? And stealing the body of someone who has not been donated?
His comment when NPR interviewed him in 2012?
"This case was completely blown out of proportion. They made me out to be, like I was doing something completely outrageous."
Ah, poor guy! He was so broke he could barely pay to have wires installed in the driveway of his mansion so he didn't have to shovel snow. And after working at his disgusting trade for four years, all he and his wife were able to agree to pay back was a lousy $4.6 million.
In case you are wondering just how much this grave robber made, here's a direct quote from NPR:
"His wife, who divorced him after he admitted his guilt, once said he made a million dollars a year. Mastromarino boasted to NPR it was much more."
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