Should a patient die while receiving treatment in a hospital or other medical facility, the patient’s family has a right to know the cause of death. If the family feels they have not received a satisfactory explanation, they may want to have the event investigated. In some cases, an examination of the deceased’s medical records will clear the matter up. In other instances, the family may wish to have an autopsy performed.
The following are circumstances which could motivate a family to request an autopsy:
- When the death may have been due to a condition that had not been diagnosed previously.
- If questions are raised about a death that occurred unexpectedly due to apparent natural causes.
- If it is suspected the death was due to a genetic condition or disease, which may later affect other family members.
- If the death takes place unexpectedly in the course of a surgical, medical, obstetric or dental procedure.
- When there are legal ramifications owing to the cause of death.
- If the death takes place while the patient was undergoing an experimental treatment.
Having an autopsy performed is a serious step and it would be understandable if a family were hesitant to do so. But it is also important to know why a loved one died while receiving medical care. If the death was caused due to a medical professional?s negligence, the family must decide if they wish to take legal action.
If you have lost a loved one and are having trouble getting clear answers as to what happened, you may wish to contact a Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney. The attorney may be able to help uncover the truth by performing an investigation. Based on the findings of the investigation, the attorney could advise you on your legal options.