The Importance of An Autopsy In Pursuing A Medical Malpractice Case in Arizona


The Importance of An Autopsy or Medical Examiner’s Report Relating To Proof that Claimed Medical Malpractice Was Proximate Cause of Death

An autopsy is a comprehensive examination of a dead person by a physician. The physician who performs the examination is usually a pathologist whose objective is to determine exact cause of death.

This may be essential when proving a person’s death occurred as a result of medical error. Don’t necessarily want to rely on informal opinions which may even change as time passes or as other facts become known. Physician who once offered favorable opinion may later change and give some inaccurate or benign reason for death. You may discover that the cause of death you thought was so clear before is no longer the supported or supportable. In performing an autopsy, the physician examines all areas of the body to determine what contributed to or caused that person’s death. Securing an autopsy can be crucial to proving a wrongful death case. It can also establish evidence that the loved one did not die as a result of claimed wrongdoing.

An autopsy should definitely be strongly considered when death occurs outside of a hospital or clinical setting as in instances following discharge from a hospital, emergency department or clinic. It should also be strongly considered in the hospital setting when a death is unexpected or unusual.

At times there may be significant religious or personal reasons dictating against the autopsy, but all factors should be weighed and balanced so the parties don’t regret that they gave up their opportunity to gain important proof of negligence. The need to know the cause of death in successfully proving malpractice should be given considerable weight when making the decision. Ultimately it would be recommended an attorney be consulted to help make this decision, since he or she can help explain the procedural steps which will be controlling, if an autopsy is sought.

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