If you want to harvest a brain for research, I would think perhaps one might ask first, or at least according to this story, or you might get sued.  Until we someday reach the point where brains are transplanted I’m sure this will continue to be a touch subject and consent before death should be one option at least.  Biopsies when done are also used in research and development.  BD 

The outraged widow of a Central Islip man has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit charging that his brain has been lost for more image than two years following an autopsy by the Office of The Suffolk County Medical Examiner. Mozelle Purifoy said her complaint filed Thursday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan claimed the brain of husband Tom Purifoy was removed from his body after he died in July 2006 and that officials at Mount Sinai Medical Center and its related units attempted to acquire it without permission.

According to the lawsuit, Purifoy said she first learned that Tom's brain would be used for medical study when an official at the Suffolk County medical examiner's office called a few days after her husband's death to say his brain would be studied. Purifoy said she never authorized anyone at the medical examiner's office or Mount Sinai to take the organ as a donation, according to the lawsuit.

The Purifoy lawsuit is similar to a case in Seattle, where the family of Jesse Smith, 21, is suing local county officials and a medical institute there over alleged illegal harvesting of his brain for research.

Widow sues Suffolk medical examiner over missing brain -- Newsday.com


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