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Petitioning Offices of Mayor Bloomberg & NYC Medical Examiner

Corpse Brain Retain Game

Stop the New York City Medical Examiner’s Callous Mishandling of Our Loved Ones Remains


In 2005 Jesse Shipley's (17) was killed in a tragic car accident. After burying their son, the family learned that the NYC Medical Examiner's Office retained the brain of their deceased son on display in the Staten Island mortuary. The family was forced to bury their 17 year old son and brother twice. Amazingly, since the New York Post exposed the case and a lawsuit from the family followed, several similar incidences have taken place.


In another instance since Jesse Shipley another family was faced with the NYC Medical Examiner’s misplacing the brain of a 60 year old woman. The family learned from the Funeral Home that her brain was missing just before her funeral and were forced to decide to delay the burial until their sisters brain was located. It took the Medical Examiner’s office another two days after the funeral just to locate the woman’s brain.


A double tragedy was bought upon the family of young Vasean Alleyne (age 11) who was killed by a drunk driver. His mother who was forced to bury her son after this tragic accident and didn’t even know that the Medical Examiner withheld her son’s brain and a portion of his spinal cord at the time he was buried. It wasn’t until months later, only after she read the autopsy report, that she learned that she had not buried her son whole. The family demanded return of the organs, was force to exhume the body, and re-bury their son.


Despite the press about these incidents and the lawsuits that followed, this callous and heartless treatment of the deceased continues to occur at the City’s Medical Examiner’s Office. Most recently my son, Gianni Bradshaw (a newborn) who sadly was a still birth, underwent an autopsy by the King’s County Medical Examiner’s Office. We were given Gianni’s body for burial. My family and I buried Gianni believing he was at rest. The same day of the funeral, just after we returned home, the Medical Examiner called to notify us that they retained Gianni's brain.


We need your help in bringing to light this epidemic at the New York City Medical Examiner’s office. Despite changes in protocol, lawsuits and articles in the press, the Medical Examiner’s Office still allows this to happen and ignores the impact that their actions and inaction have on the families suffering the tragic loss of a loved one. No one should have to bury anyone twice.

By signing this petition your telling Mayor Bloomberg's office, the Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York and the New York Health and Hospitals Corporations (HHC) that they must stop this epidemic and implement and abide by new regulations with severe penalties for failure to promptly notify families of organ retention.


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