England surgeon kept bones of more than 5,000 patients


A hip specialist would have illegally collected bones for more than twenty-five years.

The offending surgeon (right) during hip surgery.


Birmingham surgeon is illegally retaining bones from patients he has operated on for more than twenty-five years, according to an investigation released by «The Independent». This renowned specialist in hip surgery – he operated on Andy Murray, for example – possIt’swould thus derive from bones belonging to «at least 5224 patients».

This «collection» is considered unethical. As well as perfectly illegal because Derek McMinn, the doctor in question, would not have sought the consent of his patients. And, specifies the English daily, a special authorization is needed to preserve human remains, authorization that the surgeon has never requested.

“For his retirement”

The British body in charge of rules concerning the use or conservation of human bodies (Human Tissue Authority) alerted the police to the case last year.

According to an internal report from Edgbaston Private Hospital in Birmingham, where the majority of operations took place, several people appeared to be aware. Some would even have helped the surgeon to place the bones in special receptacles allowing their conservation.

AT to believe «The Independent» Derek McMinn reportedly admitted last year that he kept all of those bones. One part would be in his apartment, the other in an office. The man reportedly said he kept thems «for his retirement» while members of the’hospital allegedly claimed he was doing it for «keep your mind active». Later the surgeon would have argued that his collection was intended for research.

Apologies from the hospital group

The implicated surgeon was a pioneer of a procedure dite dThe resurfacing of the hip consisting of basically replacing the head of the femur with a metallic sphere. These are the parts of bones that he would have systematically collected and stored for decadess.

Local police confirmed that an investigation is underway into a possible violation of human remains laws.

A spokesperson for the hospital group employing Derek McMinn a «apologized for the completely unacceptable and trying actions of this surgeon over the previous years. ” The group says it wants to shed light on these actions and claims to have denounced them to the competent authorities.

As for the accused doctor, it is now suspended. Approached by «The Independent» he declined to comment.

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