Human skeletons which were used for training purposes at a Swedish hospital could be given a proper burial after theories emerged that they were traded illegally. It is thought that the bones, which are being kept by the X-ray department of Helsingborg Hospital in southern Sweden, originated from a mysterious source outside the country.
“We think that these specimens may come from an illegal international trade in bones and that they have originated in other countries – it would be unethical to keep them in our storage,” said Kim Tuominen of the x-ray department in an interview with local newspaper Helsingborgs Dagblad (HD).
Since the advent of plastic skeletons, the bones were no longer required and have been left to crumble in the hospital’s storage unit.
Concerned staff members have contacted the National Board of Health and Welfare to see if a proper burial can be arranged. It must now be decided whether the skeletons will qualify for free burial under municipal law because they have been in the country so long as to be considered Swedish.
“It is actually a valid question, because there must be many other human skeletons lying around university departments, hospitals and schools,” Tuominen said to HD.