An unusual medical case takes a grisly turn in 1881:
EXTRAORDINARY MEDICAL CASE
A week ago, a man was brought to the hospital at Pesth, where he soon died, from the result of an accident. The usual autopsy took place, when the doctors discovered, to their astonishment, that the internal organs were transposed—heart to the right, liver to the left—a freak of Nature’s? The case was well nigh unique, for although such abnormal dispositions have occurred before the unhappy wretches whom fate thus revolutionised have all died as sickly infants. But here was a healthy man who might have lived on to eighty with “his heart in the wrong place” but for an accident.
Relations of deceased claimed the body for interment. The doctors were au desespoir; their feeling hearts bled at the idea of having to part with such an interesting “subject”—a glorious addition to the hospital museum. We are all weak mortals and open to temptation. Somebody says that every man has his price, and this “transposed” treasure proved more than the price of the doctors’ virtue. So, to please all parties, they retained the anatomical treasure, save the head, which was normal and uninteresting. To the head they fitted the normal and uninteresting body of someone else, and presented these composite remains to deceased’s relations.
The fraud has been discovered, and now “damages” are loudly called for by the injured parties (as if there had not been damage enough already). The affair has gone over from the the doctors to the lawyers, who will doubtless get their “pickings” out of this very cadaverous business.
The Dundee Courier, 3 January 1881