BHB: ‘Organs Were Returned With Deceased’

August 16, 2013

Following reports out of the UK about allegations of missing body parts, the Bermuda Hospitals Board [BHB] said they understand the family’s concerns, but said the organs were returned with the deceased to the funeral home.

British-born Norman Palmer, 57, died from a throat condition in April 2008. The long term Bermuda resident had preexisting respiratory problems from an accident with a firearm that occurred when he was a teenager.

According to UK media reports, a second inquest held earlier this week heard that when Mr Palmer’s body was repatriated to the UK many of his organs – including his brain, kidney and throat – were missing.

His wife, Kathleen Palmer, told the English coroner’s court, “We didn’t bury a human being, we only buried a shell of the person who was my companion and soulmate. Someone needs to be held responsible for this despicable act.

In response to the reports a BHB spokesperson said, “With regards to the missing organs, we can understand the family’s concerns, but they were not retained by BHB.

“As we have previously stated, in accordance with regulations, a small number of tissue samples were initially retained with the approval of the Coroner’ s Officer to ascertain cause of death, but the organs were returned with the deceased to the funeral home in line with BHB’ s policy.”

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Comments (11)

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  1. Come Correct says:

    ” The organs have never been traced and no explanation given, though a pathologist in Bermuda later offered to return Palmer’s throat to British authorities, the Guardian’s report
     said.”

    Someone is lying…

    • 1minute says:

      Pathologist work for BHB, not the funeral home, correct? So that is at least one body part they lied about…

      • Come Correct says:

        Correct, and last time I checked funeral homes don’t remove organs, but at the same time with the black market on organs it’s worth a look into. Then again who is it that found that the organs were missing? I’m guessing since the body was shipped home it would have been a English funeral home dealing with the burial and maybe they came across it? That really doesn’t leave BHB much room to talk since his throat was allegedly offered back to UK authorities. Heads need to roll on this one, you do not mess with a deceased persons body period, if this were my family member id make that literal. For the person who says forget it and thank the hospital because they did all they could, you can thank them when your organs go “missing” after they “did all they could”. Makes me wanna break out the shovel and go check on some fam. What is really worth more to a stranger, your organs or your life? Think about it.

  2. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    someone is LYING!

  3. Malachi says:

    I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but it seems to me that in the absence of some religious implications (which the complainant did not mention in her statement as quoted by the press) the complainant is somewhat overzealous in her accusations.

    It has been reported that the death in question was caused to a certain extent by self neglect, resulting in an exhaustive post mortem examination. Under such circumstances, I would be very surprised if the organs were removed for any reason than to determine cause of death.

    Death, whilst inevitable, is never easy. But we should not allow our grief to become an excuse for making pointless accusations at those who dedicate their lives to saving and assisting others.

    The complainant would be better served by thanking the hospital staff for their efforts.

    • Nuffin but da Truth says:

      go back and read the full story or better yet…Dont type anymore crap!

  4. Thomas Mahoney says:

    “With regards to the missing organs, we can understand the family’s concerns, but they were not retained by BHB,” a spokeswoman said.

    Interesting wording – “retained” – meaning not kept? So did the hospital extract these organs and then ship them with the body? If so then why were they extracted in the first place? If not then clearly word your statements.

    If they were extracted and shipped with the body they could be literally anywhere. Remember, its not just people who need organ transplants who want organs, there is also a market for museums, universities, and private collectors who will pay top dollar for these bits and pieces.

  5. Truth is killin' me... says:

    I don’t believe anything the BHB says anymore! Bunch of ____ wanting people to donate money for the new hospital…so they can pay their high excutive non-deserving wages.

  6. Curious says:

    Not to be insensitive to the wife caught up in this unfortunate incident, but the reports regarding this man’s death show that he did, to some extent ignore medical advice that could have saved his life….that aside it is sad his organs are missing, and I do feel for his family, however it does sound to me as though this is all for financial retribution. ‘Someone has to be accountable’ sounds to me like ‘ we want money for our pain and grief’. Sad really as it doesn’t seem the family will ever have closure. This is an ongoing matter that doesn’t seem as though it will hit resolution … How about letting her husband rest in peace and praying for the peace needed to move on???

  7. Curious says:

    Isn’t it plausible the funeral home could have been involved somehow??? Why not investigate them as well…unless we are only being given some of the facts.

  8. Faith says:

    It would be difficult to determine his death was caused by his own negligence if vital tissue, organs and pathology were no longer available for testing.

    Very likely this isn’t some conspiracy to cover up, but many of what has been reported in various articles surely does not help a family grieving and trying to understand how their loved one died, or others hearing or reading about it to not wonder about their own loved ones.

    What is concerning though is how his condition could have been non-life threatening enough to recommend he see a specialist and send him on his way, yet days later is now the cause of his death – and one ruled his own fault for not seeking medical attention sooner. If this was my loved one most definitely I would be seeking a second opinion on cause of death and a good lawyer.