Alder Hey organs doctor struck off

A pathologist who secretly ordered the removal of organs from hundreds of dead children's bodies at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool has been banned from practising in the UK.

Professor Dick van Velzen, from Oegstgeest, in the Netherlands, was struck off the medical register by the General Medical Council (GMC) for serious professional misconduct, after a three-week hearing.

Professor van Velzen, 56, who now lives in Holland, did not attend or send representatives.

The pathologist took the organs without the relatives' consent during his career in the pathology department at Alder Hey from 1988 to 1994. Some families had to carry out two funerals to re-bury parts of their children that the professor had secretly kept.

Parents of the children called for him to be banned from practising across the world. Alice Proctor, a spokeswoman for the Pity II support group, said: "Over the past five and a half years his actions have been strongly condemned by the medical profession, not only in this country but also around the world, and we are pleased that the GMC has shown its moral courage by holding him accountable for his actions."

When the scandal was uncovered, more than 2,000 pots containing body parts from some 850 infants were found in a "filthy and dirty" cellar under a laboratory.

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