Potentially big case brewing in the Buckeye State:
During an autopsy, the Hamilton County coroner removed Christopher Albrecht's brain and never put it back—a common practice for coroners.
But when Albrecht's parents learned years later that they had buried him without a brain, they filed a lawsuit that raises ethical, moral and religious questions about the treatment of one's body after death.
The case, to be argued Wednesday before the Ohio Supreme Court, has drawn international attention for its ramifications to coroners, crime investigators, EMTs, funeral directors and followers of religions that espouse the importance of burying the whole body.
The Albrechts argue that they had a right under the Ohio Constitution to their son's brain, and a right under the U.S. Constitution to reclaim the brain before it was destroyed. The lawsuit is a class action suit against coroners and commissioners in 87 of Ohio's 88 counties covering cases dating to 1991.
Under Ohio law, brains, hearts and other body parts and fluids removed during an autopsy are classified as medical waste, which generally means they are incinerated after use.
reason readers know that there's a huge after-market in human tissue and other remains–a market that benefits just about everybody except the donor body. Read "Who Owns Your Body Parts?" And read the case for openly selling human organs.