Harvard University initiated an independent review of our Anatomical Gift Program after we learned from the U.S. Attorney’s Office about allegations of criminal activity within the program, which led to the indictment and arrest of Cedric Lodge, a former staff member in the HMS morgue, on June 14, 2023.

Lodge’s alleged criminal acts, which involved the unlawful interstate transport of stolen human remains, are morally reprehensible and inconsistent with the standards that Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, our anatomical donors, and their loved ones expect and deserve. We reaffirm our deep sorrow for the continued uncertainty and distress that families face as the criminal proceedings continue.

Separate from the criminal investigation into Lodge’s activities and as part of its oversight of Harvard Medical School, the Harvard University Office of the President and Provost appointed a panel of three outside experts to evaluate the Anatomical Gift Program and related policies and practices, with the goal of providing constructive feedback and recommendations to ensure that the program adheres to the highest standards and best practices. The panel concluded its work, culminating in a report released Dec. 7, 2023.

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