Q: My father passed away 2 days after being released from the hospital from gall bladder surgery. No autopsy was performed
Death certificate states he died from anxiety and gall bladder surgery. He was only 60 years old. Without an autopsy can a wrongful death or medical malpractice be persued?
A: I believe a family member can request or demand an autopsy. (The family may need to pay for the autopsy.) This is something that should be done right away. It is probably too late if the body has been buried or cremated although there is a way to do some types of forensic autopsies on a body that has been exhumed. I am not sure how helpful that would be. On the other hand, the medical records alone may be sufficient to smoke out medical malpractice. If you suspect medical malpractice you will need to contact an attorney that specializes in medical malpractice. I don't work in that area. Keep in mind that if there is a medical malpractice case it will be a wrongful death case and the proceeds of wrongful death cases don't get distributed the same way the proceeds of an estate get distributed. Wrongful death cases and how the proceeds get paid are controlled by Oregon's wrongful death statute which you can google and read.
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