How Autopsies Help Establish Liability in Medical Malpractice Cases
It goes without saying that the death of a loved one causes incredible grief and stress. One of the decisions that may come up at a hospital (in connection with the death of a loved one) is whether to have an autopsy to establish cause of death. Of the patients who die in the hospital, only 5% receive autopsies today, compared to 50% four decades ago.
To prove that medical malpractice played a role in the death of a loved one, it's critical to determine the exact cause of death. If a hospital refuses to agree to an autopsy, or informs the family that it is going to be responsible for paying for an autopsy, it could be a sign that hospital "risk-management" staff are concerned that an autopsy establishing the cause of death could be used against the hospital in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If you suspect that your loved one died as a result of medical malpractice, be sure to request an autopsy to be performed within 24 hours of death.