67°

Topics

Waterford
Decline on autopsies may obscure understanding of disease
Decline on autopsies may obscure understanding of disease

Television crime shows have helped popularize autopsies, but in reality these postmortem exams are becoming rarer every year. Today, hospitals perform autopsies on only about 5 percent of patients who die, down from roughly 50 percent in the 1960s. That's unfortunate, say experts, because details about the cause of death can be illuminating for both families and hospitals, even if they don't turn up an undiagnosed ailment or other new information about the cause of death. Kristine Johnson's father, Nathan Johnson, developed early-onset Alzheimer's disease and died last August, five years after having received that diagnosis at age 52. He worked as a lineman for a power...

Loading