Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
What is an Autopsy? Autopsy Resources

What is an Autopsy?

Autopsy is a surgical procedure to try to figure out the cause of a person's death, or to confirm the presumed cause of death. Autopsies can be ordered by family members, even when there is no legal question as to the cause of death (such as in a homicide investigation.) For the best results, autopsies should always be done as soon as possible after the person's demise.

Family members are likely to benefit by having an autopsy performed on a loved one, since the autopsy might reveal additional illness or at least confirm the presumed cause of death, which can be helpful for documenting their family's medical history.

Autopsy. Autopsy means "see for yourself". It is a special surgical operation, performed by specially-trained physicians, on a dead body. Its purpose is to learn the truth about the person's health during life, and how the person really died. There are many advantages to getting an autopsy. Even when the law does not require it, there is always something interesting for the family to know. Ed Friedlander, M.D., Pathologist.

The Usefulness of the Autopsy. The autopsy represents the ultimate quality assurance mechanism available to the practice of medicine. The primary purpose of the autopsy is, therefore, to improve the quality of care that we all provide. Studies over the last 25 years indicate that physicians are surprised by the results of an autopsy in about 20% of cases. Furthermore, clinicians are not able to predict those cases in which they are likely to be surprised. It is important to obtain an autopsy as often as possible, even in those cases where you have no doubt as to the cause of death. University of Iowa.

Autopsy Resources

Autopsy. In doing around 700 autopsies, I have always found something worth knowing that wasn't known during life. Even at major hospitals, in about one case in four we find major disease which was unknown in life. Giving families the explanations they want is one of the most satisfying things that I do. Ed Friedlander, M.D., Pathologist.

The Virtual Autopsy. Interactive presentation of autopsy case histories. Click on one of their case numbers to begin. University of Leicester.

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