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Medical Negligence: Important Information About Autopsies

  • On Behalf Of Edmiston & Colton
  • Published: February 3, 2020

When a loved one enters a Montana hospital for medical examination or treatment, it can be logically assumed that the entire medical team will act in accordance with state laws and accepted protocol and safety standards of the industry. Sadly, medical negligence is not only problematic in this state but most others as well. When a patient dies, family members may have many unanswered questions, which often leads to a request for an autopsy.

Laws and regulations governing autopsies vary by state. It is critical that a concerned loved one seek clarification of the laws in this state if he or she is acting on behalf of a deceased loved one to investigate a possible medical malpractice case. A family in another state learned that the hospital where their loved one died was going to be the same entity performing the autopsy, an issue they believed caused a serious conflict of interest.

In Pennsylvania, where the case took place, a seemingly healthy 53-year-old woman was dancing at a wedding on day and pronounced dead in a hospital a little more than a month later. Her son suspected that medical negligence may have been a causal factor in his mother’s sudden passing; however, he became concerned when he learned that the autopsy was being done at the same hospital. The son told spoke out on the issue, saying it doesn’t make sense that suspected entities would be allowed to perform the examination that may reveal questionable causes of death or signs of neglect.

In this case, the woman’s cause of death was determined to be fatty liver disease; however, her son believes lack of proper testing may have played a significant role in her demise. When a Montana resident believes he or she has sufficient evidence to prove medical negligence, a personal injury claim can be filed in a civil court. Proving such claims is typically challenging, which is why most plaintiffs ask experienced personal injury law attorneys to act on their behalf in court.

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