October 30, 2012

The 'Great Brain Robbery'

Medical examiner's office refuses to release more than 9,000 brains belonging to New Yorkers so they can use them for 'experiments and practice'

It's being called 'the great brain robbery.' New York City's medical examiner’s office has kept the brains of more than 9,200 deceased New Yorkers — from the elderly to newborns — so newbie pathologists can practice their skills.

The discovery comes after three families publicly questioned whether or not the city is banking the brains for medical purposes.
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'Vasean’s organs were removed for ‘testing’ without any investigative or medical necessity,' charges a suit by the family of Vasean Alleyne, an 11-year-old Queens boy killed by a drunken driver. According to the New York Post, months after his burial, his mom was shocked to read in the autopsy report that her son’s brain and spinal cord had been taken.
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In November 2010, a judge ruled the city must notify families of seized organs. The ME began giving kin a form with three options: wait to claim the body pending “further testing” of organs; collect the organs later; or just let the city dispose of the organs. The disposal method is not mentioned. But an internal ME document spells it out: 'Medical waste is incinerated. Please do not tell NOK (next-of-kin) that unclaimed organs are ‘cremated …''
Posted by Jill Fallon at October 30, 2012 7:51 AM | Permalink