Patient upset dead person's bones used in surgery

A man is upset after finding out a dead person's bones were used without his permission in a surgical operation on his neck.

Mr A, who wanted to be anonymous, only found out the dead person's bones were used six weeks after the operation at a check-up with the surgeon.

"When I was going to have the operation I was told they would take bone off my hip," he told RadioLIVE.

"When I spoke to the surgeon on the six-week check-up I said how come I didn't have a sore hip? What happened? And he told me what they'd used, which was a shock."

Mr A, who used to work as a funeral director, has complained to the Health and Disability Commissioner about the incident.

He said if he'd been given the choice, he wouldn't have agreed to the use of a dead person's bones.

"They could have used the bone from me to put back into my body," he said. "It didn't have to happen."

Mr A believes that if the situation isn't life threatening people should have the choice about whether or not to accept parts from dead people.

Despite his discomfort about the bones, he says the operation was a success.

"I have no complaints against the surgeon himself, I think he did a really great job, I'm grateful for what he did."

He said if it's a matter of life or death and dead body parts are needed during surgery, "I don't have a problem with that."

Mr A complained to the Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill about the incident, who said the patient was not provided with sufficient information before the surgery.