The Donahey Law Firm, LLC
Free Consultation: Email


Home of the Million Dollar Verdicts
Offices Menu
Get Your FREE Case Review Talk to a lawyer for free with no obligation. Let’s talk.

FOR SERIOUS INJURIES, Call the Lawyers Other Lawyers CallTM

Medical malpractice evidence lost without routine autopsies: Part 1

The news organizations ProPublica and NPR have been working on an ongoing journalistic investigation of the death investigation system in America and its flaws. One of the most recent installments looks into the increasing lack of routine autopsies by hospitals when someone dies unexpectedly or without a known cause.

ProPublica reports that routine autopsies were common 50 years ago, but now hospitals rarely perform them. Autopsies were seen as a medical audit to help doctors know what caused a death in order to shed knowledge on whether there was a misdiagnosis or other misunderstood element of the patient's condition that led to their death.

This kind of routine auditing of medical work could help build knowledge and a learning curve in order to prevent future mistakes and repeated medical malpractice.

Without these routine autopsies, hospitals end up literally burying their mistake as ProPublica points out. Hospitals now perform autopsies on about 5 percent of patients. There is no requirement for hospitals to perform autopsies nor will insurance companies pay for these procedures. This is partly because of the fear that the procedures will reveal that the doctors made mistakes and will be sued for medical malpractice or wrongful death.

The next post will further discuss this issue.

Source: ProPublica, "Without Autopsies, Hospitals Bury Their Mistakes," Marshall Allen, Dec. 15, 2011

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Email Us Your Case Information For A Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy


The Donahey Law Firm
495 S High St #300
Columbus, OH 43215

Telephone: 614-224-8166
Toll-Free: 800-792-1480
Fax: 614-849-0475
Email Us | Columbus Law Office Map

Branch Offices

Dayton Office
Local: 937-224-3030
Toll-Free: 800-792-1480

Cincinnati Office
Local: 513-721-9400
Toll-Free: 800-792-1480

Delaware Office
Local: 740-363-4969
Toll-Free: 800-792-1480

Covington Office
Local: 859-261-0572
Toll-Free: 800-792-1480

Mobile Office

Toll-Free: 800-792-1480
Learn More

Donahey Law Firm Logo
Logo: Facebook Logo: LinkedIn Logo: Twitter Logo: YouTube Logo: Google+