Body of WWII veteran dissected in front of a paying audience without family being notified

David Saunders, a 98-year-old man who died of COVID-19, was dissected in front of a public audience without his family's knowledge, according to a local report. (The National WWII Museum)

The body of a 98-year-old WWII veteran was given an autopsy in front of a paying audience in Oregon- without the family being informed.

Part of the “Oddities and Curiosities Expo,” 98-year-old David Saunders was cut up in front of a crowd at the Marriott Ballroom on October 17 as part of a demonstration.

The crowd paid $500 per person to be at the event, which was held in Portland.

Saunders had died of COVID, according to the New York Post.

The family, it seems, was not informed of where the autopsy would take place.

“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,” Mike Clark, a funeral director in Louisiana who had prepared Saunders’ body before it was given to Med Ed Labs, a Las Vegas company.

Both the family and Saunders were under the impression that Med Ed Labs would use the body for scientific research, not for a “freak show.”

“I was totally horrified,” Clark told the station. “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.”

Future public autopsies carried out by the expo have been canceled.

“We feel that this was not respectful and certainly not ethical,” said Kimberly DiLeo, the chief medical death investigator for the Multnomah County, Oregon, medical examiner.

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