Hospital Rejects Body Donated To Science, Finds It “Too Fat”

You’re pretty much supposed to respect the last wishes of the deceased, that’s why they’re called “last wishes.” One Queens native, who only wanted to donate his body to science, didn’t live to see his final requests unfortunately shunned. A hospital just wouldn’t take his cadaver because it was “too fat.”

Queens mechanical engineer George Cardel wanted his body donated to science in the unfortunate event of his death. That wish died with him, as the medical school his body was sent to rejected the remains due to Cardel’s girth. Worse still, the hospital neglected to return his body for 13 days. At that point, the 59-year-old man’s remains were so badly decomposed that the family had no choice but to cremate him, reports NY Daily.

“We thought everything was taken care of until 13 days later,” Cardel’s sister, Maryann O’Donnell said. Her husband, Joseph, said that the return of Cardel’s remains shocked the family. “Everybody was trying to get through closure and suddenly George was back,” he said.

Cardel suffered a heart attack Dec. 29, 2011. He weighed 300 pounds when he died. “He was stocky, heavy-set,” says one relative. “I can’t say he was pleasantly plump.”

The family is now suing, seeking up to $2 million for “grave humiliation.” Hospital officials say that they tried to place Cardel’s corpse with the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine at Hofstra University, where it was rejected. Other facilities turned down the remains as well, reports Gothamist.


Former New York City chief medical examiner Michael Baden says he’s not surprised that no one would accept Cardel’s cadaver, explaining, “An obese person would be harder to dissect because of the amount of fat tissue under the skin.”