Relatives Sue Ohio Coroners Over Remains

Fate of organs removed during autopsy at issue
By Emily Thompson,  Newser User
Posted Jan 23, 2008 7:43 PM CST
Cemetary   (Shutter Stock)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments today in a lawsuit charging that coroners failed to return a man's brain to his body prior to burial and that his parents had a constitutional right to the remains. Coroners say hurried reintegration of organs for funerals could compromise autopsies; under state law, removed body parts are considered medical waste.

"The longer you wait to perform an autopsy, the more evidence and information you lose," one defense attorney tells the AP. A brain, for instance, takes three to 14 days to ready for examination. The class-action suit, which covers cases dating to 1991, has drawn international attention because of its potential impact on the way remains should be handled.