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Greece ‘harvests’ U.S. Marine’s heart without family’s permission

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Craig and Beverly LaLoup of Coatesville, Penn, filed a $75,000 lawsuit this week against the Department of Defense alleging Greek medical examiners performed an illegal autopsy and “harvested” the heart of their Marine son after he committed suicide last year.

Marine Sgt. Brian LaLoup, 22, was stationed with a unit guarding the U.S. Embassy in Athens, when he shot himself Aug. 12, 2012, after a night of heavy drinking.

The suit alleges that United States officials were aware of the Greek government’s actions but did not notify the LaLoup family that a “harvesting” had taken place until after the burial.

The suit further accuses the Navy and the U.S. government of negligence and mistreatment of their son's body.

Most civilians are not aware that an autopsy is performed at Dover Air Force Base on every U.S. military service member who dies overseas. It was during the second autopsy at Dover that the U.S. medical examiners discovered Sgt. LaLoup’s heart did not accompany his body home.

Interestingly, there was no mention if Sgt. LaLoup’s heart was harvested as a life-saving measure for a recipient or for medical research.

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