Mother's body mistakenly sent to medical college prompts call for new bill in New York

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Shirleen Allicot has the latest details.

There is a call to prevent body blunders.

The son of a woman whose body was mistakenly shipped to a medical school is now urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign a new bill.

It's designed to tighten the procedure for handing over unclaimed bodies.

"When I saw the body I couldn't believe it, I couldn't recognize the body, because it was embalmed, but in the wrong way," said Hector Ballesteros, the victim's son.

It's a real life nightmare Ballesteros still can't shake two years later.

Back in May 2014, 85-year-old Aura Ballesteros died of cardiac arrest.

Her body was supposed to be stored at the morgue while her children made funeral arrangements.

But a clerk at the morgue mistakenly released the body to a medical college.

"The shock, the trauma, the anger, the sadness is still, I'm suffering that," Ballesteros

Wednesday, joined by his attorney Sanford Rubenstein, Ballesteros wants to see the Unclaimed Body Bill passed.

"This bill will require written consent before a body is released by any medical examiner in the state, and this ensures that this will never happen again," Rubenstein said.

Ballesteros did receive a settlement of $115,000 from the city, but he says that's not enough.

"I don't anyone deserves to go through all of this emotional pain. That's why I am asking the governor again today to please sign the bill, it's only a signature," Ballesteros said.

Governor Cuomo has 10 working days to sign or veto it.

This is one of 554 bills that passed both houses of the Legislature at the end of this session. They are under review by Counsel's office.

There are those who are opposed who say this only adds more red tape to being able to attain cadavers for medical schools.
Related Topics:
newsdead bodyandrew cuomolegislationNew York City
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