A US Navy doctor has been fined $2,500 for bringing a service member's brain home for his children to handle while his wife took photos.
Dr. Mark E. Shelley, a Navy medical examiner, was supposed to transport the brain from a naval hospital at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina to Portsmouth Naval Medical Center last December. But according to the Virginian-Pilot, Dr. Shelley instead brought the organ to his Virginia Beach home.
There, he removed the brain from its specimen jar, held it, and let his children handle it while his wife photographed them, according to the Virginia Board of Medical Records. He then took the brain to the medical center where it underwent a neuropathological exam as part of an autopsy.
Dr. Shelley, 41, was fined $2,500 by the Virginia Board of Medicine over the incident. Deborah Kallgren, a spokeswoman for the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, told the Virginian-Pilot that "appropriate disciplinary action is being taken" by the Navy as well.
Board of Medicine records indicate that Dr. Shelley was fired from a post in the state medical examiner's office over the incident.
In an April letter to the Board, Shelley admitted that he used "extremely poor judgment" and acknowledged the pain his action may have caused the family of the deceased service member. He wrote that he did not intend to disrespect the dead man or his family.