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The Ultimate Disservice: Veterans Left to Rot in Morgue without Burial

A VA hospital in Illinois has reached a new low. A whistleblower report from an employee at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Medical Center in Hines, Illinois, alleges that unclaimed bodies of veterans are left to decompose at the facility’s morgue for up to two months without burial.  The whistleblower allegation specifically called out Christopher Wirtjes, the Hines VAMC’s chief of Patient Administrative Services, for his failure to act.

Illinois Senator Mark Kirk slammed the Hines VAMC in a statement to the press this week, and has called for Mr. Wirtjes to be fired. The Hines VAMC has been the subject of controversy over the past few years for issues with black mold, a cockroach infestation in its kitchen, and, of course, secret waitlists. 

The whistleblower report contains disturbing allegations and emails exchanged between the facility’s employees.  Per the employee’s allegations, the Hines VAMC morgue was stacked to capacity. Further, the report alleges that on at least one occasion, a body had been left to decompose to the point of liquefying. The report details that the body bag burst when an employee attempted to move it. 

These new allegations are disturbing. It seems that the Hines VAMC is abusing its veterans in both life and death.


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