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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. hide caption

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Death investigations among seniors are often skipped, leaving the growing population vulnerable to neglect and abuse. Andres Cediel/Frontline hide caption

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Andres Cediel/Frontline

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 hide caption

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John W. Poole/NPR