A poor Arizona man is letting the world know that the United States Army strapped a bomb to his mom's chest and blew her up. Well, it wasn't quite like that but they did blow her up.
Jim Stauffer has just learned that his mother’s body, which he donated to science, ended up being blown up by the U.S. Army in a “blast test.”
Stauffer had cared for his elderly mother, Doris Stauffer, during her decline into dementia.
When she died back in 2013 at age 74, Jim decided to let researchers analyze her brain in hopes of contributing to a cure for Alzheimer’s. Doctors said his mom did not have the gene for the disease and worried it might have mutated. They hoped looking at her brain could yield new insights.
In the end, however, her neurologist couldn’t accept the body. So, at a nurse’s suggestion, the family contacted the Biological Resource Center, a local company that brokered the donation of human bodies for research.
It appears that Jim signed a form authorizing his mother’s body to be used for medical research. But he checked a box indicating he did not want it used for military, traffic-safety and other non-medical experiments.
Well, the company sold his mom's body to the Army anyway for $5,893 and shipped it off to be used in a taxpayer-funded research project. “She was then supposedly strapped in a chair on some sort of apparatus, and a detonation took place underneath her,” Jim said. “To basically kind of get an idea of what the human body goes through when a vehicle is hit by an IED.”
The Army used around twenty other bodies for the tests without the knowledge of the families involved. The company he had donated the body to, sold over 20,000 parts and more than 5,000 human bodies over the course of 10 years and is no longer in business. Steven Gore, its former owner, pleaded guilty to fraud charges in 2015.