A 98-year-old man who died of Covid-19 was dissected in front of a live, paying audience in Oregon, without his family’s consent.
The family of David Saunders, a military veteran who died from the coronavirus in August, thought his body would be donated to medical research. They later learned of the October 17 autopsy demonstration that took place at a Marriott ballroom in Portland when it was reported by KING 5.
The 92-year-old widow of Saunders told the news station that she was horrified to learn that her late husband was ‘treated like a piece of meat’ in front of a paying audience.
Audience members paid up to $500 to view the in-person autopsy and dissection. The event is part of the Oddities and Curiosities Expo, an occult art and sideshow performances event that travels across the country. A similar event scheduled to be held in Seattle was canceled.
Mike Clark, the funeral director in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who handled the preparation of Saunders’ body, was deeply saddened by the discovery.
‘It makes me really feel saddened that this gentleman was not given the dignity and the respect that he deserved and what he thought and his family thought that would be happening to his body,’ Clark said.
Clark handled the preparation of Saunders’ body, including handing it off to a private company that the family thought would use his corpse for medical research.
‘I was totally horrified,’ Clark said after being told the news.
‘Our whole staff was horrified that this is what had happened to a gentleman that he and his family thought that his body was going for the advancement of medical students.’
Clark claims the company he provided Saunders’ remains to, Las Vegas-based Med Ed Labs, never told him or the family that they would be used in such a manner.
An administrator for Med Ed Labs sold his corpse to Jeremy Ciliberto, the event’s organizer and founder of DeathScience.org.
According to the lab, Ciliberto was ‘beyond’ dishonest and claimed he would use the body for a medical class.
Ciliberto says Saunders and his family did give consent for his body to be used in such a manner, adding: ‘I can guarantee that that man knew his body would be used for medical research.’
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