Michael Jackson to be buried without his brain
Michael Jackson will be buried without his brain today after doctors retained it following an autopsy to help determine the cause of death.
The King of Pop will be saluted in grand fashion at the Staples Centre memorial ceremony, and reportedly laid to rest at Los Angeles's Forest Lawn cemetery. However, the LA coroner's office has still not completed its tests on Jackson's brain, and the singer's family have been advised that unless they wish to wait, he must be buried without it.
Jackson died from an apparent cardiac arrest on 25 June. Though his body was released the next day to relatives, his brain was not. The pop star's inert brain must "harden" for at least two weeks before doctors can conduct their neuropathology tests.
Doctors will examine Jackson's brain to help determine the cause of death, suspected of being linked to painkillers. Such examinations can also reveal unknown diseases, evidence of alcohol abuse or whether Jackson has suffered overdoses in the past.
Removing the brain is the "only way to carry out the tests" according to a source for the Mirror. "The tissue has to be examined. I can't tell you how long that is going to take."
Jackson's funeral will begin with a closed-casket family service, followed by a Staples Centre memorial for more than 11,000 fans.