Briton's organs 'removed in Bermuda' without consent or knowledge of family

Norman Palmer, 57, died in hospital on the island after suffering respiratory problems

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The organs of a British man who died in Bermuda were removed without the consent or knowledge of his family and have never been found, an inquest has heard.

Norman Palmer, 57, died in a hospital on the island after suffering respiratory problems.

When his body was repatriated to his home town of Yeovil in Somerset a week later, it emerged many of his organs – including his brain, kidney and throat – were missing.

An inquest held in Wells in Somerset heard Mr Palmer, who moved to Bermuda 30 years ago, was not an organ donor and his family were not informed before or after the “mutilation”.

The organs have never been traced and no explanation given, though a pathologist in Bermuda later offered to return Mr Palmer’s throat to British authorities, the hearing was told.

Mr Palmer died at Bermuda’s King Edward VII Memorial Hospital on April 12 2008 following a long-standing respiratory problem, caused by a combination of asthma and an old shotgun wound.

His wife Kathleen Palmer told the East Somerset Coroner Tony Williams her husband had been denied his final wish of a cremation thanks to the removal of his organs, which meant there was a potential need for further post-mortem examinations.

Mrs Palmer told the hearing: “I still cannot come to terms with the fact that Norman is lying in a grave in the UK. I cannot bring myself to think of what the pathologist did to Norman and how she brutally mutilated his body. It is beyond my comprehension.

“We didn’t bury a human being, we only buried a shell of the person who was my companion and soul mate. Someone needs to be held responsible for this despicable act.”

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Palmer’s family said it was a positive step but “doesn’t finish the story”.

Heather Carberry, sister of Mr Palmer, said: “None of us have any idea what happened to my brother’s organs. We still don’t know what happened. All of his organs apart from one kidney are missing. They mutilated my brother. It is like a horror story.

“Where are his body parts? What did they do with them? What were they used for? Why didn’t they put them back?