NY court: Medical examiners don’t have to return all organs

Jesse Shipley

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – New York’s highest court has ruled that medical examiners don’t have to return to families all organs from autopsied bodies or even tell them parts are missing.

The case involves a New York City couple who buried their 17-year-old son after a 2005 car crash, not knowing his brain had been removed.

Two months after the funeral, Jesse Shipley’s high school class saw his brain in a labeled jar during a morgue field trip.

The Shipleys got it back and had a second funeral.

A jury awarded them $1 million for emotional distress, reduced to $600,000 by a midlevel court.

The Court of Appeals said Wednesday that medical examiners have discretion to tell families organs have been kept and have no liability for not doing it.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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