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Routine autopsies have become less common in the U.S. But in the past century, post-mortems helped doctors discover many new diseases.
December 12, 2012 In many parts of the world, there aren't enough doctors around to do post-mortems. Answers to a few questions can help a computer deduce what killed someone when an autopsy can't be done. The results can help guide decisions about public health.
Death investigations among seniors are often skipped, leaving the growing population vulnerable to neglect and abuse.
December 21, 2011 Many jurisdictions have stopped doing autopsies on people who died over the age of 60, unless it was obvious that a violent death occurred. A lack of resources, both financial and staffing, is often blamed.
Unlike the medical examiner's office in New Mexico, which routinely autopsies sudden or violent deaths, most U.S. hospitals perform postmortem examinations only rarely.
John W. Poole/NPR
December 15, 2011 Hospitals have financial incentives to avoid autopsies. And a decline in the number of postmortem examinations performed means lost opportunities for improving medical care and distortions in health care statistics.
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