479 Leprosy Patients at Sanatorium Dissected after Death

Society Lifestyle

Kumamoto, Sept. 15 (Jiji Press)--National Sanatorium Kikuchi Keifuen, an isolation facility for leprosy patients in southwestern Japan, had dissected the bodies of 479 patients after death, the facility said.

Of them, 389 people have been identified, the facility in the city of Koshi, Kumamoto Prefecture, said in an investigation report. The facility "cannot escape being accused of disrespecting he human rights," the report said.

The sanatorium also found that there was a period in which the facility made patients sign documents consenting to the dissection of their bodies after death.

The finding came after it was revealed in 2013 that a medical college that later became Kumamoto University's School of Medicine made 20 sets of skeleton specimens by dissecting the bodies of 43 patients from Kikuchi Keifuen between 1927 and 1929. Kumamoto University and an association of patients at the sanatorium requested the facility to investigate the matter in 2014. The report was compiled this month.

Of some 2,400 patients at Kikuchi Keifuen who died between 1911 and 1965, 291 were dissected by the sanatorium, and 98 by Kumamoto University's school of medicine and its precursor, the report said. They were identified through records, including personal identification documents compiled by the facility. There also were records of dissections for 90 bodies that have not been identified, according to the report.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press