Outrage After WWII Veteran Was Dissected Live for $500 Dollars per Ticket

Andrei Tapalaga

A World War II veteran had recently passed away due to health complications that may be related to the latest virus. David Saunders from Baton Rouge, Louisiana had his body donated for medical science by his family as per his wish. His family says that he understood the importance of science and wanted to play his part once he had passed away. 

According to the National World War II Museum’s National Archive, Mr. Saunders joined the Merchant Marines after the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941. He later enlisted in the US Army in 1944 and was posted to the Pacific theatre where he was wounded while fighting the Japanese in the Philippines.

Science for Profit 

The body was given to Med Ed Labs, a for-profit medical company that partnered with Death Science run by Jeremy Ciliberto who became popular on TikTok for sharing videos of faked corpses. Doctor Ciliberto planned to dissect the body of David Saunders in front of a live audience of 70 people in a hotel ballroom from Portland, Oregon

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Showing residence and medical students a live autopsy has its educational importance, but this is a different story as Dr. Ciliberto allowed anyone who was willing to pay $500 to view the autopsy. The live autopsy actually happened on the 17th of October and only after the outrage began. Having a live autopsy is not something new, but no one has ever charged money to see a live autopsy.

“Treated like a piece of meat”

Sauders’ late wife and other family members have been outraged to hear that his body was dissected live with an audience that had to pay for tickets as if he was some sort of exposition. Elsie Saunders (David Saunder’s wife) had mentioned in an interview with NBC News:

“It’s horrible what has happened to my husband, he was treated like a piece of meat in front of a paying audience.” (Elsie Saunders)

Elsie also mentioned that she agreed to donate her husband's body for scientific purposes, but not for someone to make money for him. The contract that had been signed for the donation does not mention exactly in what circumstances the autopsy would be performed, but it never mentioned anything about a live autopsy with spectators that would be charged money to see it. 

Death Science had partnered with Med Ed labs and helped to promote the event by hiring a platform to sell tickets to the live event. They also offered medical professionals who guided participants through a formal autopsy. Nevertheless, if they have or haven’t profited from this event, this could still be a debated case in court if Elsie wishes to sue both parties. 

If 70 people attended the life autopsy that is $35,000 profit. Ciliberto said that the body was sold by Med Ed Labs to Death Science for $10,000, something that does not seem like a scientific purpose. Ciliberto also runs the Death Science TikTok account where he shows his one million followers painting of cremated remains. 

There is a big difference between showing some pictures of corpses and dissecting a human corpse live for money. The scandal will most probably be taken to court by Saunders' family, despite the insignificant apologies ade by the companies involved in this scandal.

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