A COVID-19 victim's body was reportedly dissected in front of a paying audience for $500 a ticket in a Portland "freak show" without the knowledge of his grieving family, who agreed to donate his corpse for private medical research.

David Saunders, 98, is survived by his widow, Elsie Saunders, 92, who only found out about the Oct. 17 live autopsy demonstration at a Marriott ballroom in Portland after local media reported it, according to the New York Post.

According to police, the crowd paid $500 a ticket to witness the autopsy and dissection as part of the traveling “Oddities and Curiosities Expo.” The show features occult art and sideshow performances, promoting itself as a top institution for “all things weird.”

"Using my husband’s body like he’s a performing bear or something. I don’t know the correct way to describe it, but that’s what I feel like. He’s on display,” Elsie told KGW, labeling the event "reprehensible."

Mike Clark, a funeral director in Louisiana, prepared Saunders’ body before transferring it to Med Ed Labs, a Las Vegas institution soliciting body donations for medical and science research.

“It makes me feel saddened that this gentleman was not given the dignity and the respect that he deserved and what he thought and his family thought that would be happening to his body,” Clark added.

“Our whole staff was horrified that this is what had happened to a gentleman that he and his family thought that his body was going for the advancement of medical students," he continued.

The head also noted the funeral home has ultimately decided to cut ties with Med Ed Labs.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Ciliberto, the expo organizer and founder of DeathScience.org, argues his freak show was part of medical research and maintains he informed the family that the remains will be used for such.

Med Ed Labs has since slammed Ciliberto for being beyond dishonest about his intent for the body. Local health officials also said the practice was disrespectful and unethical.

Ciliberto has decided to cancel another supposed public autopsy in Seattle for Halloween following widespread backlash.

According to Obteen Nassiri, an administrator for Med Ed Labs, Ciliberto falsely claimed he would use the corpse for a medical class. However, he failed to explain why he supplied a COVID-infected donor to a client despite the body being infectious.

King5 also noted that the viewing public saw the corpse up close and even touched the body during the Oct. 17 event.

A COVID-19 victim's body was dissected in front of a paying audience for $500 a ticket. This is a representational image. Getty Images

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