Woman With 'Mad Cow' Donated Eyes
Nov. 30, 1997
LONDON (AP) _ Scottish health authorities are investigating how tissue from the eyes of a woman who had suffered from the human form of ``mad cow disease'' was transplanted into three other people.
``We are aware there is a potential infection risk from tissue retrieved from a patient in Scotland,'' a spokesman for the government Scottish Office said Saturday on customary condition of anonymity.
``We do not know the full facts, but we are making urgent inquiries into how this could have occurred,'' he said.
The 53-year-old woman suffered from lung cancer, but after she died a post-mortem examination showed she also had Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease. The brain-destroying disease is the human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which afflicts cattle and is known as ``mad cow disease.''
No further details were given on the grounds of patient confidentiality.
But the tabloid Sunday Mail said the post-mortem findings were not passed on to officials handling organ donor arrangements, and parts of her eyes, including the corneas, were transplanted into two men and a woman in her eighties.