Families of Alabama prisoners claim unauthorized organ removals as expert investigates potential systemic issue

Authorities have been unable to account for the organ for over 70 days, despite the Dotson family’s court demand for its “immediate return.”

The family of the deceased Alabama inmate continues to assert that their loved one’s missing heart remains unaccounted for even after 50 days.

The Moore family, doubtful of the DOC’s claims, questions the assertion that their loved one, Kelvin Moore, died from a fentanyl overdose. Adding to their skepticism, their family’s mortician informed them that most of Kelvin’s organs were missing, leaving them unable to independently verify the cause of his death.

Just one hour before a prison chaplain at Limestone Correctional Facility called to inform her that he was dead, Moore’s brother revealed that Moore had been on the phone with his mother, as reported by Fox News Digital.

The family’s funeral director made a call to UAB’s pathology lab to inquire about the organs after six days. Allegedly, he was informed that someone from the funeral home could come and retrieve them.

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The family was approached by the prison chaplain within an hour, who inquired if they would be open to the idea of donating Moore’s organs.

Kelvin Moore, who passed away at the age of 43 in July at St. Clair Correctional Facility, was not only known for his time behind bars but also for his talent as a drummer. According to his brother, he even taught GED classes while serving his sentence. Simone Moore, Kelvin’s brother, shared this information with Fox News Digital.

“It is truly unfathomable, unimaginable, that a person would go to such extremes as to remove their own organs from their body,” he expressed. “Even if there was a valid reason – such as a biopsy or autopsy – why wouldn’t they simply place them back in their original position?”

Alabama inmates have taken legal action against the state, arguing that the prison labor program is akin to “modern day slavery.” The lawsuit highlights the exploitation of incarcerated individuals, claiming that they are subjected to harsh working conditions and receive little to no compensation for their labor. The plaintiffs argue that this system violates their constitutional rights and perpetuates a cycle of inequality and injustice within the prison system. The lawsuit seeks to bring attention to the issues surrounding prison labor and advocate for fair treatment and compensation for inmates.

Moore hails from a Baptist family that firmly believes in the concept that whatever we are born with accompanies us in the afterlife as well. According to Charlene Drake, who provided a sworn statement in the court documents pertaining to Dotson’s case, her father Charles Edward Singleton, who passed away in November 2021 while in prison at the age of 74, had all his organs removed except for his eyes.

Another family from Tuscaloosa, whose relative also had missing organs, has approached Faraino for help. Similarly, a fourth family, like Moore’s, received organs back after making a request. Faraino mentioned that they are currently waiting for the results of DNA testing to confirm if the organs belong to the correct individual.

Dr. Baden explained that coroners usually keep only small samples of internal tissues for postmortem testing.

According to Faraino, she expects to have to make similar decisions with many families, emphasizing that each family deserves to be informed.

UAB, the organization responsible for conducting numerous postmortem examinations for the Alabama DOC, has stated that they have thoroughly reviewed records indicating that they did not perform the autopsy for Dotson.

According to Faraino, the impact on families must be significant, considering the number of completed autopsies and the revenue generated by the prison.

“You’re still robbing him of his dignity, even after he’s gone,” expressed Simone Moore, the brother of Kelvin Moore, during a conversation with Fox News Digital. “As a family, we were utterly devastated.” (Provided by Simone Moore)

In 2018, a group of medical students expressed their concerns to the school’s Medical Ethics Board regarding the origin of organs used in pathology classes. They were alarmed to discover that a significant portion of these organs were sourced from Alabama’s prisons.

A former medical student at UAB, who wishes to remain anonymous due to concerns of potential backlash, revealed that a group of 13 students formed within their class of approximately 170 individuals. The formation of this group was prompted by the observation of an unusually high number of samples obtained from incarcerated individuals during their teaching sessions.

Upon expressing their concerns to their medical ethics professor, the students were tasked with creating a presentation for an ethics board. However, the response they received was dismissive, as they described it as being “pat on the head.” Consequently, their instructors started sharing fewer details about the cadavers utilized for their pathology samples.

“It is incomprehensible, inconceivable, that someone would go that far, to take their organs out of their body.” — Simone Moore

According to a university spokesperson in a statement to Fox News Digital, UAB ensures that autopsies are conducted only after obtaining consent or authorization from the relevant state official. The spokesperson also emphasized that UAB is fully compliant with the laws governing autopsies.

The spokesperson addressed the student’s concerns, stating that they were based on inaccurate data and information. They further mentioned that these concerns were directly addressed with the students.

The university informed Fox News Digital that a group of medical ethicists has thoroughly examined and approved our procedures for conducting autopsies on incarcerated individuals. The Alabama Department of Corrections was not available for comment at the time of publication.

“This is a problem that I’d imagine is going on in many places.” — Dr. Michael Baden

According to People, the number of prisoner deaths in the state of Alabama reached a record high in 2023. The Alabama Political Reporter revealed that 325 prisoners lost their lives, a significant increase compared to the mere seven individuals who passed away over a nine-month period in 2015.

The state’s prison system received a strong warning from the U.S. Department of Justice two years ago. The department criticized the system for imprisoning individuals in conditions that put them at significant risk of serious harm and even death.

According to Dr. Baden, this issue is likely prevalent in many locations, as evidenced by numerous past lawsuits.

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