News

Granny has a blast

When Doris Stauffer died in 2013 aged 74, her son Jim donated her brain to what he thought was scientific research into Alzheimer’s.

He got in touch with the Biological Resource Center (BRC), a company that acted as a broker of human bodies for research. BRC dispatched a driver to collect Doris, and her son signed a form authorising medical research on his mother’s body. He also ticked a box prohibiting military, traffic-safety and other non-medical experiments. Ten days later, Jim received his mother’s cremated remains.

Now Reuters has discovered that BRC workers cut off one of Doris Stauffer’s hands for cremation, then sold the rest of Stauffer’s body (for $5,893) to a taxpayer-funded research project for the US Army.

Doris’s corpse was used in an Army experiment to measure damage caused by roadside bombs. At least 20 other bodies were also used in the blast experiments without permission of the donors or their relatives, a violation of US Army policy.

BRC sold more than 20,000 parts from some 5,000 human bodies over a decade. It’s no longer in business.

Picture source: Wikimedia