Anderson received her son’s body, but his eyes, brain, and some other organs were missing, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. She says her son, Vance Anderson, was missing the organs after he died from a lung condition in 2012 at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Jefferson Hospital confirmed that Anderson’s organs were donated for education.
Mary Anderson says she thought the hospital would investigate her son’s cause of death, but not take his organs.
“They told me they took his eyes, heart, brain, pancreas. They took every organ he had in his body out of him. I said, ‘Why? Why?’ ” Anderson said. “I thought they were going to take a piece of his lung to see what he died from.”
Anderson has since filed a lawsuit, claiming that the hospital stole her son’s organs without permission. She says they threw away her son “like garbage” after using his organs for research.
“They just threw my son away,” Anderson said. “I don’t think people know what they’re doing to their loved ones. Ain’t no way in the world, if they explained to me they’re going to take my son and experiment with him and throw his organs in the trash, that I would’ve consented to that.”
A spokeswoman for the hospital explained that “when performing complete autopsies, it is customary for academic medical centers, that are engaged in educating future doctors, to remove and retain organs and tissues for teaching and continued analysis.”