Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Woman's Body Buried Beside Her Organs

CementaryA family in New York City is stunned and reasonably outraged with the city for not following their own procedure on performing autopsies when it came to a relative that had recently passed away. The 82-year-old Rhonda Callwood's body was buried in casket without her organs, which were placed in buckets and buried with her casket. The incident occurred after the family asked for two autopsies. The first autopsy was performed by the New York Presbyterian Hospital and the second one was performed by the city medical examiner. During the first autopsy, the hospital removed her organs per policy but did not return the organs to her body and failed to ship them with the body to the medical examiner. The medical examiner then did not place her organs in her body because the funeral director and mortician would soon be prepping the body for burial.

As a result of this incident, the family has hired an attorney and seeks to have the organs tested to see whether the organs in the buckets actually belong to their relative. 

See Woman's Body Buried With Her Organs In Buckets After Bizarre Autospy Mix-up, Fox News, Feb. 4, 2013.


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