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Original Research

Determination of role and issues of autopsy in medical negligence

Naveen Kumar Edulla, Ramesh Kethvath, Yadaiah Alugonda, Jyothinath Kothapalli, Ambreesha K Goud.


Background: The fright that destructive data from autopsy may be presented as proof in lawsuits alleging medical malpractice is often referred to as one factor contributing to the drop in autopsy rates.

Objective: To determine the role of autopsy and issues related to autopsy in medical negligence.

Materials and Methods: A total of 36 medical negligence cases reported during the period of 3 years (i.e., from July 2011 to June 2014) were gathered from hospital case records, inquest reports, postmortem examination reports, and forensic science laboratory reports.

Result: It this study, male and female subjects equally experienced medical negligence. Among the female subjects, pregnant cases were more common. Most of the medical negligence cases had arrived to the hospital with major health problems. Regular autopsy is a common compare to the autopsy after exhumation. Postmortem findings in surgical cases were more clear compare to medical cases. In surgical cases, hemorrhage is the most common cause of death, and drug hypersensitivity is more common in medical cases.

Conclusion: Proof of negligence was found in more surgical cases than medical cases on postmortem examination. In case of death owing to medical negligence, postmortem examination is must to take action against the negligent doctor. The final opinion should not be speculative or premature, but should be brief, simple, and based upon a complete review of all the facts and findings of the case.

Key words: Medical negligence, autopsy, exhumation, cause of death, Consumer Protection Act

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