The body of an elderly man who succumbed to complications related to COVID, was dissected in front of a live, paying audience in Oregon, without his family’s consent.
The gruesome public autopsy of 98-year-old David Saunders’ body was part of a dark arts sideshow titled the “Oddities & Curiosities Expo,” held at Portland’s Marriott – in the ballroom – this past October.
According to its website, the expo offers dark art and sideshow performances to paying attendees, marketing itself as a factional community “for lovers of the strange, unusual, and bizarre.”
Saunders family members, including his surviving widow, only learned that their loved one’s body was the centerpiece of this macabre freakshow after seeing it covered by local news.
The victim’s family was shocked at the revelation because they thought the deceased had donated his body to science through the Las Vegas-based company MedEd Labs.
Instead, Saunders’ body was sold to DeathScience.org founder Jeremy Ciliberto, who – in turn – used it as a centerpiece at the expo.
Attendees reportedly paid $500 to witness the autopsy in person.
Why This Is Important
The horror this family must have felt at the hands of these disingenuous ghouls defies description.
In a nation where many states have strict regulations in place for the handling of the dead – including purview over the manner in which a body is interned and/or transported for internment, it shouldn’t be that a human being can be hoodwinked into agreeing to such irreverent exploitation in death.
Without doubt, this is a case of elder abuse and those who engaged with Mr. Saunders should be investigated for the misrepresentation they advanced to Mr. Saunders.
This also should serve as a teachable moment to both those preparing for their final arrangements and family members engaging with those who are doing so. Please do your research and only choose established and respected facilities and outlets when planning internment.
When considering a donation of your body to science as an alternative to burial or cremation, please do your homework, if not for the fact you want to benefit society, do it for your family so that they don’t have to go through what the Saunders Family went through.
We also urge organ donation to save lives.