May television programs show autopsies without permission of family members? That issue will be debated in a Tennessee case. A Maryland couple who says their son was autopsied on a nationally televised cable show without permission is suing Nashville’s chief medical examiner and one of his pathologists, the Tennessean reports.
Francis and Cheryl Reidy of Maryland charged invasion of privacy, negligence, interference with and mishandling of remains, and outrageous conduct. The case is one several against Medical Examiner Bruce Levy, whose office has been dogged by controversy because of his work on the cable show True Stories from the Morgue.
The reality show, which has been canceled, featured graphic crime-scene footage and the clinical carnage of autopsies from victims who died in Tennessee. The show aired on the cable channel TLC.
The Reidys said they were horrified that their only son, Francis Reidy III, would be shown dead inside Metro’s morgue to a nationally televised audience. Reidy died at 21 in a traffic accident last year in Nashville.
Principal Films, which filmed the autopsies, has said that the company didn’t need permission to film the procedure in a public place.