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The Horrifying Truths About Donating Dead Bodies To Science


When we think about donating our bodies to science (and who doesn't, several times a day?), we imagine teary

medical students whispering "Thank you" as they respectfully handle a perfectly preserved deceased volunteer.

Unfortunately, the reality isn't always quite that dignified, mostly thanks to the large and largely unregulated

industry of "body part brokerage." And if you thought that sentence was the darkest thing in this article, oh boy,

you have no idea.


The Military Can Buy You To Use For Experiments And "Blast Testing"


When Jim Stauffer donated the remains of his mother, Doris, he did so with the understanding that they'd be used

for Alzheimer's research. Now, we're not aware of the exact steps involved in preparing a body to be used in

Alzheimer's studies, but we're pretty sure "Strap the dead person to a chair and place a powerful explosive

underneath" ain't it.


It turns out that instead of being studied by neurologists, poor Doris was sold to the military, which blew her up as

part of an experiment "measuring the damage caused by roadside bombs." Later, her son received all that was left

of her: 6 oz of ashes. We understand cremation is never a pleasant process, but this was a rather extreme way of

going about it.





An Arizona man thought he had donated his mother's body for Alzheimer's research. He later learned that her body

was subjected to explosive military "blast testing" instead. https://www.kdrv.com/content/news/513397032.html



4:00 PM - Jul 30, 2019
Twitter Ads info and privacy


And this wasn't a onetime mix-up. In 2004, seven bodies donated to Tulane Medical School were given to a

brokerage company, which sold them to the military for $25,000-$30,000 apiece. They were all blown up to test

footwear designed to protect against landmines (we're guessing it didn't work very well).


"Don't let the military kablooey my corpse" isn't something most people think they have to specify before they

croak, yet this has happened even in cases where the deceased did exactly that. Like Kurt Hollstein, a disgruntled

veteran who explicitly denied permission for his remains to be used by the military before he died, only to end up in

an Army experiment anyway. Because dying of cancer wasn't bad enough.


To be fair to the military, it appears they were unaware that they were using corpses without proper authorization.

As of August 2019, dozens of families have filed suit against one body broker, Biological Resource Center (BRC),

which made millions of dollars selling donated corpses. That's because ...


Related: The 6 Coolest Things You Can Do With Your Dead Body:






There's An Industry Making Huge Money Selling Poor People's Donated Bodies


Donating your body directly to a university's medical school is neither cost- nor hassle-free. It's not as easy as

asking a buddy to drop off your vacant shell at a college's main entrance the next time he's going that way. That's

why so many people end up leaving their bodies to a broker, who will take care of all that stuff for you out of the

kindness of their hearts ... and in exchange for a massive profit.


Reuters conducted a long-term, in-depth investigation of the body brokerage business, and determined that these

companies are making big bucks selling corpses, mostly poor people. Brokers often recruit donations through

funeral homes or hospice care, and it's not hard to grasp how a low-income family that's exhausted their savings on

medical bills could find the prospect of a "free cremation" appealing. Plus, they're helping science! As it turns out,

they're only padding the pockets of these brokers with their loved one's remains. Sorry about the mental image.


As you might know if you've ever tried it, it's technically illegal to sell a dead body (even your own). But opportunistic

companies don't let "technically illegal" get in the way of mad profit. What they officially charge buyers are

"preparation" fees, or "matching" and "placement" surcharges. And while that sounds like chump change, these

companies do this to the tune of $100,000-$200,000 per corpse. They are literally monetizing tragedies.


Angela McArthur, who directs the (legitimate and reputable) body donation program at the University of Minnesota

Medical School, likens today's body trade to old-fashioned grave robbing, saying, "I don't know if I can state this

strongly enough. What they are doing is profiting from the sale of humans." Or parts of humans, anyway. See ...


Related: 6 Creepy Things That Happen To The Human Body (When You Die)





In Order To Be Sold, You Will Almost Certainly Be Hacked Into Various Parts And Sent ... Wherever
Body brokerage is a business, and the object is to make as much money as possible. And the sad fact is that

you're generally worth more in pieces than as a whole. So you'll be cut up and sold for parts like an old car. Exactly

like your grocery store's butcher, body brokers chop you into cuts of meat and sell them for varying amounts

depending on how choice they are.


And there's not much point in keeping all those bits in one place. For example, a grieving widow named Linda

Hayes honored her husband's dying wish that his body be donated for medical research. But when she tried to find

out where his remains ended up, she learned he was chopped up like some medieval traitor and scattered to the

four corners of the Earth. First his body was "leased to a nurse anesthetist seminar in Chicago," then they sold his

joints to two different companies, and nobody's sure what happened to the rest of him. That, or it was something

so awful that "We lost him" sounded better.


So what are they doing with all those loose parts? Oh, lots of things. Back in 2013, 27 shoulders were sent to an

orthopedic workshop in Florida. In 2015, a carpal tunnel presentation in Virginia got five arms. How much does your

pimp get from your prostituted remains? $500 for your head. $350 for one of your feet. Even your fingernails are

worth something to someone. But at least you can be certain that all parties involved will treat your parts with the

utmost respect, right? ... Uh, right?


Related: The 5 Most Bizarre Things People Have Done With Dead Bodies





They'll Mangle You With Chainsaws And Sew Your Head To Another Body For Kicks

Once a buyer decides they want a piece of you (literally), how do they split your body into salable chunks? As you've

probably sussed out by now, the process is grisly, devoid of dignity, and probably involves whatever electrical saw

the closest hardware store had on sale.


When the FBI raided Biological Resource Center's facility in Phoenix, they found "a cooler filled with penises," "a

bucket of heads, arms, and legs," and "pools of human blood and bodily fluids." Officials also noted that the bodies

"had been hacked up with chain saws or hack saws," and that a female head had been sewn onto a male torso and

hung on the wall like the most horrifying office decoration ever. An agent actually used the words "in a

Frankenstein manner" when describing BRC, which are not words you want on a Yelp review.


Buckets of infected human heads & legs, and a cooler full of male genitalia.




New court docs in the lawsuit against Biological Resource Center in Phoenix show an FBI agent's testimony in the

2014 trafficking raid. A man who donated family to them reacts...



On Saturdays, BRC's "lab technician" taught college "interns" how to dismember corpses. One intern graphically

recalled being selected to cut off an elderly woman's head with a reciprocating saw, because she'd "never cut off a

head before," but all the others had (within a medical context, we hope). One week, the lesson involved pulling

fingernails off corpses with pliers.


That same lab tech also created a gruesome "instructional video" that demonstrated how to carve out someone's

spine with a Sawzall. But hey, failing a saw, there are other options. Vice founder Shane Smith witnessed firsthand

a different company's "procurement" process, including the 33 mallet whacks it took to chisel a woman's head from

her body. And this was after that company had cleaned up its act.


All in all, the investigators who raided BRC sized over ten tons of frozen human remains, including one bag that

held bits from "at least" 36 different people. If there's one consolation, it's that the raid spared those people from

the further indignities that awaited them ...


Related: 5 Horrific Things You See Collecting Dead People As A Job





Your Dismembered Bits Might End Up On Display In A Hotel Ballroom Somewhere


While investigating the body part trade, Reuters reporter Brian Grow wanted to see precisely how difficult it would

be for your average Joe to purchase human remains. Using his real name and email account and openly naming his

employer, Grow was able to purchase a cervical spine and two human heads with less hassle than it takes to buy a

case of beer.


He was even able to track down the spine's original owner, whose parents were too poor to bury him and couldn't

read the donation consent form they signed. Reuters paid for the spine to be cremated and returned to the

parents, but we're guessing most buyers aren't that considerate. You could end up as part of some Hannibal-esque

art display somewhere, for all these companies care.


And if your remains do get sold for something legitimate, like a medical workshop, it's entirely possible they'll end

up somewhere you've only ever dreamed about going. That's right, you (or pieces of you) might take the vacation of

your life after you've died.


A group of 70 doctors worked on cadavers in the ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, practicing

spinal pain control techniques in the same room that's hosted thousands of wedding receptions. The ballrooms at

Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts in Orlando hosted another so-called "cadaver lab," where doctors

practiced nerve blocks while blood and bodily fluids leaked onto the ballroom carpet. All this while guests and hotel

staff went about their business right outside.


So if you're some type of extreme exhibitionist and wish to be seen nude by as many people as possible, even after

death, then we fully recommend donating your body to a broker.


For everyone else ... maybe start saving for that burial now? Or simply don't die. That's what we're counting on.


For more, check out How Humans Will Eventually Beat Death - People Watching No. 4:




Also, we'd love to know more about you and your interesting lives, dear readers. If you spend your days doing cool

stuff, drop us a line at iDoCoolStuff at Cracked dot com, and maybe we can share your story with the entire



Follow us on Facebook ... or else.... HAPPY HALLOWEEN  🐸




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