Earlier this week, we discussed the troubling fact that few hospitals regularly perform autopsies on deceased patients today. In teaching hospitals, which have a mission of educating young medical professionals, the autopsy rate is currently around 20 percent. Private and community hospitals, which make up about 80 percent of such facilities in New Jersey and throughout the U.S., rarely conduct autopsies.
If a member of your family suddenly and inexplicably passed away at a hospital or medical facility, you would certainly want to know the reason for his or her death. However, in most hospitals today, that most likely won't be an option. This is because many health care facilities have phased out autopsies almost completely, largely due to cost and apprehension about medical malpractice or wrongful death lawsuits being filed against them.