You may want to think twice before agreeing to become an organ donor. CBS News in New York recently reported on the shocking findings of a family whose teenage son died in a car wreck back in 2005. Years after his burial, Andre and Korisha Shipley discovered that their son Jesse’s brain had been removed from his body and placed in a display jar at the medical examiner’s (ME) office without their consent.
The Shipleys recently became aware of the matter after a class at Jesse’s high school took a field trip to the morgue. Some of the students, including Jesse’s own friends, noticed the jar and informed their teachers.
“Friends who were there saw the brain
in a jar, displayed with his name labeled on it,” explained Jesse’s father Andre to reporters.
Apparently the ME’s office decided to remove the brain
and save it for “tests”, but failed to notify the Shipleys or get permission from them. Assuming that Jesse’s entire body
was intact during his burial, his parents were horrified to learn that this was not the case.
“We had no idea,” said Andre. “We had to go dig [the body] up to bury the rest of his remains with his body.” The Shipleys attorney explained that the family actually had the brain sewn back into the body and reburied after getting it back through a court order.
The ME’s office did not provide an explanation as to why it removed the brain without consent in the first place, or why the organ was still sitting in a jar on display when it was supposedly taken for testing purposes.
The Shipleys are now filing a lawsuit against the City of New York over the matter.
Sources for this story include: