A COVID-19 victim was dissected in front of a paying audience in Oregon without his family’s knowledge or consent, according to a report from local outlet KING 5 News. The autopsy of David Saunders, 98, was hosted in a Portland Marriott hotel ballroom on Oct. 17 as part of the traveling “Oddities and Curiosities Expo.” Organizers sold tickets for up to $500. Saunders’ widow and other family members only learned of the fate of Saunders’ body from a previous KING 5 investigation, the outlet said.
Mike Clark, the funeral director who had handled the preparation of Saunders’ body, handed it off to a private company with the family’s expectation his remains would be used for medical research. Clark was “totally horrified,” he said, when he discovered where the body had actually ended up. Jeremy Ciliberto, the autopsy’s organizer and founder of DeathScience.org, claimed that Saunders and his family did give consent. A representative for the middleman firm, Med Ed Labs, said that they had been misled by the “beyond” dishonest Ciliberto. The spokesperson, Obteen Nassiri, said the company had been told by Ciliberto that Saunders’ body would be used for a medical class. Nassiri could not explain to KING 5 why he had supplied a client with COVID-infected remains, however.