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Investigation launched into claims human body parts held without consent at Tasmanian museum

Pulse Tasmania
The R.A. Rodda Pathology Museum. Image / UTAS

A formal investigation has been launched following the discovery of “individual specimens” kept after the completion of autopsies at a Hobart pathology museum.

It is understood the specimens were gathered from the Coroner’s Office between 1953 and 1985, potentially without family consent.


According to a statement from the Coronial Division, the R.A. Rodda Museum of Pathology on Collins Street first notified the coroner of its possession of specimens from “147 persons” in 2016.

However, it has taken eight years for an investigation to be launched into how the museum acquired these body parts.

A pathology lab. Image / Stock

The museum, which is a part of the University of Tasmania School of Medicine, was established in 1966.

It houses a diverse collection, primarily focused on diseased organs.

The collection stems from the fascination of its founder, Dr. Roland Arnold Rodda, with brain diseases.

The museum is also home to a variety of specimens such as tumours, stroke samples and cases of Huntington’s disease, alongside an assortment of human parasites.


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