Death Profits: Maryland’s Dr. Frankenstein and Unclaimed Bodies

You attempt to reach your father by phone but the call is never answered.  He’s probably outside and doesn’t hear the phone ring, you say to yourself; reassuring yourself that he is fine and telling yourself not to panic. Another attempt is made later in the day, but still no response. You call his cell phone and get voicemail.

He is elderly and you begin to become concerned for his health and safety. You drive to his residence in hopes that he has simply turned off the phone’s ringer by accident and left his cell in another room.

You arrive at your father’s residence and notice his car is not in the driveway. Having made the trip, you get out and approach the house despite his car being gone. Confirmed. Your father is not home. You grab your cell phone and begin making calls. Panic begins to set in. Breathing becomes difficult. Your calls to family members and friends fail to lead you to your father.

You decide to report him as a missing person but must wait the 48-hour time period, so you continue to search every place you can possibly think of where your father might be.

Meanwhile…

A man sits in his office. Human hearts embalmed in silicon take the place of paperweights. A life-size sarcophagus takes up space behind his desk.  A skull pencil holder keeps his writing utensils ready for use and an arm stripped to its humerus is showcased on a bookshelf. He loves his work. It is his passion. He presides over his state’s anatomy board and dead bodies are his business. And business is good.

A deceased body has been reported and picked up by the authorities and now is lying on a gurney across the hall from the man’s office. The elderly man was discovered only 72 hours ago and Dr. Frankenstein has wasted no time in getting his work done. The missing, the homeless, the unclaimed….they belong to him. The body will be cut up and the parts will be sold off for medical research just as one might pick and choose which car parts they need at a junk yard.

Yes, business is good and Dr. Frankenstein is more than pleased with his newest possession.

I will let you pick the ending; does the person locate their father at the anatomy board after being cut up and sold as parts or will their father forevermore be listed as a missing person? Regardless of your choice, both endings would be true. This might sound like a horror movie, but it is happening right here in the state of Maryland. Ron Wade, the Director of the Maryland Anatomy Board plays the role of Dr. Frankenstein and thus far he has nailed the role perfectly.

Just who is our Dr. Frankenstein? Let’s look at some quotes from him and what we know about him from various news articles.

In 1994, Maryland’s Health Secretary called for his firing stating “the comments and the cavalier handling of this thing was totally unprofessional and showed a lack of judgment and poor taste.” He was referring to Mr. Wade’s interview with the media regarding mummifying a Baltimore man.

Wade is more than happy to talk about his business and the use of bodies. Are you a doctor who has just attended a medical convention and want to try out a new procedure you just learned about? Give Dr. Frankenstein a call and he will invite you over to try out the new procedure on one of his bodies.

Wade has also been quoted as saying “I’ve got 80,000 people walking around Maryland with donor cards in their pockets.” One must, therefore, question why the need to cut up the bodies of the unclaimed? Why oppose a bill introduced this year that would ensure that no bodies were cut up during a 14-day time period to give loved ones more time to locate the bodies of their missing loved ones?

“I call them ‘donors by circumstances’,” Wade says. What does this mean? It means your body and the body of your loved ones belong to the state and “body donation” is by default and not by choice.

Homicide victims are also cut up in the name of science by default like the missing, the homeless, those whose loved ones cannot afford burial or are still trying to locate the family member. Let’s not forget the children. Children are being cut up and cremated as well; their ashes being dumped in a community hole. Dump Day will take place this year on June 20 in Sykesville at the Springfield Hospital Center.

Activist Heather Lynette Sinclair was responsible for a bill being introduced during this year’s legislative session to protect the rights of the people and to fix a loophole in the law. That bill was killed in committee as most victims/people-centered bills are each year.  (Nancy’s Law).  Her grandmother, Nancy Porter, was a victim of the state anatomy board.

“I almost lost my grandmother to the state forever. When I was finally able to get her body after 22 days, she was frozen solid and mummified,” said Sinclair. “A real injustice to the memory of my grandmother. Mr. Wade claims that he gives everyone a dignified burial, but there is nothing dignified about snatching our loved one’s bodies and chopping them up for profit. I will keep fighting to change this.”

“The funeral directors association’s lobbyist, Jim Doyle, opposed Nancy’s Law (HB1152) stating that the current policies we have in place have been working and that we shouldn’t change the law for just one case.” Sinclair continued. “My reply to Mr. Doyle is that is exactly why we should change the law. All it takes is one time, one case, one injustice for there to be a need to change the law. And this is happening on a large scale. People just don’t know about it.”

To learn more about Sinclair’s experience, you can read this article.

Heather Lynette Sinclair and her grandmother, Nancy Porter.

Heather Lynette Sinclair and her grandmother, Nancy Porter.