Arizona man outraged after US Army blows up his mom's body without his consent when he had specifically donated it for medical research
Jim Stauffer says he signed paperwork disallowing his mother's body to be subjected to medical tests that may involve explosions
An Arizona man cannot get past the idea that his mother's body was donated to the military and was blown to pieces without his consent.
Doris Stauffer, 73, suffered from Alzheimer's disease during the last years of her life although she didn't have the gene for it.
Fearing that the disease might have mutated, doctors wanted to study her brain after her death.
So, after her demise in 2014, her son, Jim Stauffer, decided to donate her remains for scientific research.
Since the neurologists who originally wanted to retain her body for studying did not accept her corpse, Jim handed her over to the Biological Resource Center (BRC), an alternative facility that took claim of Doris' body less than an hour after her death.
To make sure that her body is not used for anything violent, Jim listed down the specifics during the paperwork.
“There was paperwork signed stating what was and what was not to happen with her body," Jim told ABC 15. "There was actually wording on this paperwork about performing these medical tests that may involve explosions. And we said no. We checked the 'no' box on all that.”
After a few days, Jim received a wooden box from the facility with his mother's information and an ID number. The box contained his mother's ashes, he was told at the time.
However, years later, Jim discovered that there was much more to how the cremated dust ended up in the box.
He was approached by Reuters, which had followed a trail of documents and found out that Doris was one of the bodies that were sold by BRC to the army for blast testing.
"She was then supposedly strapped in a chair on some sort of apparatus, and a detonation took place underneath her to basically kind of get an idea of what the human body goes through when a vehicle is hit by an IED (bomb made and used by unofficial or unauthorized forces). Every time I dream about my mom, I told you she was a quiet person, this person in my dream was angry,” he said.
After learning the shocking truth, Jim joined the list of plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit filed against BRC and its owner Stephen Gore, which alleged that the facility preyed on low-income and grieving families and donated their loved ones’ bodies under false pretenses.
"I feel foolish," he said. "Because I’m not a trusting person, but in this situation you have no idea this is going on—you trust. I think that trust is what they fed on.”
In 2015, Gore pleaded guilty to running an illegal enterprise. However, he did not receive any jail time.
"He didn’t care about the families, he didn’t care about the people and he didn’t care about the memories," Jim added. "If I can be a little small part of his personal financial destruction, I don’t care.”