Med Ed Lab director, a former chiropractic doctor, lost his license in Nevada after being charged with insurance billing fraud.
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – A Louisiana funeral director says he regrets his role in a case in which the body of a 98-year-old man was shipped from a Baton Rouge mortuary service to a public autopsy event in the Pacific Northwest.
âWe were like, ‘Oh my God. It’s horrible. It’s terrible, âsaid Greg Clark, the owner of Church funeral services.
Clark explained how the body of World War II veteran David Saunders ended up in the hands of a ‘for-profit’ body broker after Saunders died from COVID-19 in August at a Baton Rouge hospital .
The body broker – Med Ed Labs of Las Vegas – provided Saunders’ body to DeathScience.org, the organization that used his body in a public autopsy in Portland on October 17 before paying ticket holders.
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Clark said his funeral service contracted with Med Ed Labs in August to help procure and treat bodies Med Ed had accepted from donors who believed their bodies would be donated for scientific and medical research.
â(Med Ed) pays us to do the removal, the pickup. They pay us for the storage (of the bodies), âClark said.
Med Ed has agreements with funeral homes in various parts of the country to help treat donated bodies, and these funeral homes receive honoraria for their work.
Donors and their families are spared the cost of burial or cremation. Once the research on a body is completed, the cremated remains are returned to the family with a death certificate free of charge.
Funeral homes make money, families get a cheaper option, and the body broker gets corpses to sell to medical seminars, medical device companies, and other businesses in need of real human bodies.
Clark said he ended his relationship with Med Ed after about a month because the body broker was accepting the remains of people who died from COVID-19. He found this suspicious since other similar for-profit companies and universities, which run their own body donation programs, do not accept deceased COVID donors.
âWe ended the relationship,â Clark said.
But not until Saunders’ family signed a contract with Church funeral services to send his body to Med Ed.
Saunders widow Elsie Saunders, 92, was distraught after learning from KING 5 that her husband’s body had become the centerpiece of DeathScience.org’s $ 250 to $ 500 bill, autopsy event in person in a ballroom at a downtown Portland Marriot hotel. A similar event scheduled for Halloween in Seattle has been canceled.
âI have had several conversations over the months with the lab,â said Jeremy Ciliberto of DeathScience.org.
When asked if Med Ed Labs knew of his intentions for the Portland event and had obtained the appropriate consent from the Saunders family, Ciliberto replied “yes”.
However, Med Ed director Obteen Nassiri said Ciliberto cheated on his company and never mentioned anything about a pay-per-view autopsy event.
âWe had no knowledge at all,â said Nassiri, whose company provided the corpse, equipment and a retired anatomy professor who performed the anatomical dissection.
Nassiri said his company performs lab tests on all donor organisms to look for infectious diseases. He said that after death viruses like the coronavirus will not survive on the host body, and that is why they can accept deceased COVID donors. He said Saunders tested negative for the virus before his remains were sent to the Portland event.
A simple internet search would have revealed to Med Ed that Ciliberto had no professional qualifications and Nassiri could not have explained how this had been missed.
A file search also uncovered information on the man signing his name, Dr. Obteen Nassiri.
The Nevada Council of Chiropractic Physicians confirms that Nassiri’s medical license was revoked in 2011 for malpractice. In a parallel civil lawsuit, Nassiri and his former chiropractic practice were ordered to pay $ 3.5 million in a civil lawsuit in which a jury found they submitted fraudulent insurance bills.
âI don’t practice anymore. I haven’t practiced for years, âNassiri said in response to the question of whether he was really a doctor.
He said these problems were years in his past and he denies any wrongdoing.
“Our lawyer did not represent us at all at the trial,” Nassiri said. “He didn’t show our side of the story or had any witnesses, experts, exhibits or anything like that.”
Nassiri said his company is cooperating with authorities in Portland and Louisiana who are investigating the KING 5 story.
Saunders’ family are weighing their legal options, according to his grandnephew Harold Adkins, a lawyer based in Baton Rouge.
âI’ll say this. I wouldn’t put anything aside, âAdkins said.
But first, the family are planning a memorial service for Saunders in honor of the man who served in both World War II and the Korean War.
RELATED: ‘He’s Home’: Man’s Remains Dissected In Autopsy Event Returned To Family