Posted by: Melinda | 2011-01-23

Autopsies on people over the age of 90 necessary??????

I would really appreciate your advice. I moved my elderly parents into a cottage on my property 8 years ago when I saw they could no longer take proper care of themselves. Both my parents were in *good* health (my mother being 90 and my father being 92)
My father died in bed. No prior warning at all. We had still celebrated one of my children''s birthday the day before and my dad was in high spirits. The ambulance took his body away when my mother discovered in the morning that he must have died in bed. I have to admit that I was very distressed and my children too when we discovered that my dear father *had* to undergo an autopsy according to the ''laws of the country.'' My son was given a very graphic account at school by a fellow pupil just how my late fathers body would have been cut up, all organs removed, tested and then replaced. This caused us more distress than the actual death of my father to be honest!
I have now moved my 90 year old mother into the guest room of our home so that I can keep a much closer eye over her.
She is dearly loved by everyone and I am already living in fear and trepidation that when her time also comes that she will also be ''cut up'' and examined the way my dear father was.
Please can you tell me just WHAT do the ''officials'' actually do in an autopsy on someone who has reached such a good age and WHY they have to cut them to shreds?
My parents family GP had written " Died due to natural causes"  on a letter he gave me which I had to give to the funeral directors but they still performed what to me has been a very painful experience, knowing that my late father was butchered at the advanced age of 92!
Sorry for the long post but can you just give me a bit more info regarding the supposedly ''legal/necessary'' post mortem as I am already highly anxious that my dear old mom will be subjected to this same ''butchery'' when her time comes.
P.S. I have NO problem with autopsies being done as I had offered my 17 year old late son''s organs for any donations possible after he had died in an automobile accident. Why though do they have to cut up very old people and exactly what are they doing that for? I have NO idea and it really distresses me.
Many thanks - Melinda

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Our expert says:
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I have no idea why an autopsy was performed on a patient who died from natural causes. An autopsy can be requested by the family, as well as the state if any foul play is suspected. I suggest that you contact a lawyer to find the reason.


Dr Anrich Burger

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