WW2 veteran, 98, who died of COVID was DISSECTED at $500-a-ticket event

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The widow of a 98-year-old World War Two veteran who died of COVID-19 and donated his body to science is furious after the corpse was used to perform a public autopsy before a live audience who paid up to $500 per ticket at a Portland hotel.

The body of David Saunders, 98, was dissected before a paying crowd in the conference room of a Marriott hotel in Portland, where a ‘cadaver class’ was put on by a group called Death Science.

It was held as part of an ‘Oddities and Curiosities’ event, whose titillating website describes its events as ‘for lovers of the strange, unusual and bizarre’. 

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According to its web site, Death Science ‘is an educational platform focused on the scientific fields of forensic, medical, and mortuary science’ that ‘collaborates with industry experienced professionals…to teach students around the world.’

Now Saunders’ widow says that the family never approved of a public for-profit ‘pay-per-view’ autopsy.

The image above shows a live, pay-per-view autopsy held in a Portland, Oregon hotel room on October 17

The image above shows a live, pay-per-view autopsy held in a Portland, Oregon hotel room on October 17

Dr. Colin Henderson, a retired professor of anatomy who taught at the University of Montana in Missoula, dissected limbs and removed organs, including the brain, before a live audience of people who paid up to $500 per ticket

Dr. Colin Henderson, a retired professor of anatomy who taught at the University of Montana in Missoula, dissected limbs and removed organs, including the brain, before a live audience of people who paid up to $500 per ticket

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The event was staged by an organization called Death Science. According to its web site, Death Science ‘is an educational platform focused on the scientific fields of forensic, medical, and mortuary science’ that ‘collaborates with industry experienced professionals...to teach students around the world’

The event was staged by an organization called Death Science. According to its web site, Death Science ‘is an educational platform focused on the scientific fields of forensic, medical, and mortuary science’ that ‘collaborates with industry experienced professionals…to teach students around the world’

The corpse was that of David Saunders, 98, a World War Two veteran who died of COVID-19 and donated his body to science

The corpse was that of David Saunders, 98, a World War Two veteran who died of COVID-19 and donated his body to science

The 92-year-old widow, who declined to be identified, told KING-TV that she was ‘horrified’ that her husband was ‘treated like a piece of meat in front of a paying audience.’

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The body was first given to Med Ed Labs, a Las Vegas-based for-profit company ‘established to provide medical and surgical education and training for the advancement of medical and surgical innovation.’

People donate the bodies of their loved ones to companies like Med Ed Labs in order to avoid the high cost of burial.

Jeremy Ciliberto, a macabre artist and founder of Death Science who organized the event known as the Oddities and Curiosities Expo, said he paid Med Ed Labs ‘north’ of $10,000 for each cadaver.

According to Ciliberto, Med Ed Labs was aware of his plans for the corpse.

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The event was held as part of the 'Oddities and Curiosities Expo', which bills itself as a show for 'lovers of the strange, unusual, and bizarre'

The event was held as part of the ‘Oddities and Curiosities Expo’, which bills itself as a show for ‘lovers of the strange, unusual, and bizarre’

The expo's 'cadaver lab classes' feature real-life autopsies and dissections of human bodies performed before a live audience. The expo's October 31 show scheduled to take place in Seattle on Halloween was canceled due to the backlash

The expo’s ‘cadaver lab classes’ feature real-life autopsies and dissections of human bodies performed before a live audience. The expo’s October 31 show scheduled to take place in Seattle on Halloween was canceled due to the backlash

Jeremy Ciliberto, a macabre artist and founder of Death Science who organized the event known as the Oddities and Curiosities Expo, said he paid Med Ed Labs ‘north’ of $10,000 for each cadaver

Jeremy Ciliberto, a macabre artist and founder of Death Science who organized the event known as the Oddities and Curiosities Expo, said he paid Med Ed Labs ‘north’ of $10,000 for each cadaver

The event was held at Marriott Downtown Waterfront in Portland after it was moved there from a different Marriott hotel.

The event was held at Marriott Downtown Waterfront in Portland after it was moved there from a different Marriott hotel.

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But the chief medical examiner in Portland said this wasn’t true.

Kimberly DiLeo, the Multnomah County Medical Examiner, said that a Med Ed Labs supervisor told her the company had no idea the body would be used for a live event.

‘Their supervisor was unaware of the deceased being used for this event,’ DiLeo said.

‘We feel that this was not respectful and certainly not ethical.’

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Ciliberto later told KING-TV: ‘Any concerns about the cadaver have always been addressed by the lab.

‘Again I am not the lab, I am the host.’

The cadaver class was initially scheduled to be held at the Downtown Courtyard Marriott, but DiLeo pressured the hotel to cancel it.

When the organizers moved the event to the Marriott Downtown Waterfront, DiLeo once again tried to persuade the managers at the hotel to not allow it to go forward. The hotel refused.

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‘We follow detailed protocols to protect safety…,’ Martin McAllister, the general manager of the Marriott Downtown Waterfront, told KING-TV.

‘We are aware of concerns regarding a recent event and we are looking into them further, but as a matter of privacy, we do not discuss details of guests or groups.’

The live autopsy on Saunders’ body was performed for an audience at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront on October 17, KING 5 News was first to report.

According to one of the attendees, a corpse draped in a white sheet was placed on a table in the center of the ballroom.

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VIP customers who paid $500 per ticket sat in the front row just a few inches away.

Dr. Colin Henderson, a retired professor of anatomy who taught at the University of Montana in Missoula, removed the sheet from the body, exposing the corpse of a man who ‘had donated his body to science.’

Henderson then used a surgical knife to cut into the chest cavity, head, and limbs of the corpse.

The retired professor removed several limbs, organs, and the brain. During the hours-long procedure, Henderson told the audience members that this was exactly how he taught medical students throughout his academic career.

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At least two attendees who saw the show told KING 5 TV that Henderson was respectful toward the corpse.

‘It was very educational,’ one attendee who goes by the name ‘Monica’ said.

‘It was very respectful to the person that donated their body.’

Christine, a Portland resident, said: ‘They’re not doing anything that I would, if it was my own family member, be upset about.’

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A similar event scheduled to take place on Halloween in Seattle was cancelled due to public reaction. 

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