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Post-mortem/autopsy

(42 Posts)
annsixty Fri 14-Feb-20 13:00:28

Sorry for a distressing and slightly morbid thread but can anyone tell me if a post-mortem is mandatory in case of unexpected death particularly in the case of the elderly.
If I give written instructions to my D&S that I don’t want one carried out on me and even possibly get it signed by a solicitor, can they insist my wishes are not countermanded.

Ilovecheese Fri 14-Feb-20 13:08:19

Not particularly in the case of the elderly but yes, mandatory for an unexplained death.
I don't think that anyone can refuse, because the cause of death must be established.

vampirequeen Fri 14-Feb-20 13:08:49

I think they have to perform one if there is no obvious cause of death i.e. you've been in relatively good health. If you were in the process of being treated for something that was life threating then they wouldn't need to. I think it depends whether a doctor is able to say with certainty what you died of. My son was FSID and they did a post mortem on him but an elderly relative died when she was 104 and they didn't do one on her.

Can I ask why you don't want a post mortem?

annsixty Fri 14-Feb-20 13:12:29

I just don’t like the thought of being cut open and then all my organs stuffed into plastic bags, stuffed back in and then sewn up.
It seems so undignified.
I know it is not “me” I have left that body but even so I really don’t want it.

Charleygirl5 Fri 14-Feb-20 13:15:26

Sorry ann but you will have no choice if your death is unexplained. No point wasting money on a solicitor because he will be overruled also.

timetogo2016 Fri 14-Feb-20 13:18:39

Ilovecheese is spot on.
I don`t like the idea of one either but I won`t feel a thing.

annsixty Fri 14-Feb-20 13:23:53

I will have to just grin and “bare it” then. 🙁

lemongrove Fri 14-Feb-20 13:31:53

Sorry Ann but it will have to happen if you die (unexplained)
So...make sure you have an entirely explained death🤣
Squeeze into the lions enclosure/go surfing in Winter/fall off
The top of Blackpool Tower/etc.

You won’t actually be there, so don’t worry, or as Woody Allen says ‘I’m not afraid of death....I just don’t want to be there when it happens’.

Callistemon Fri 14-Feb-20 13:51:03

lemongrove grin
Reminded me of Our Albert
It were a sad day, that sad

I think there seem to be more and more post-mortems now than there were.
Any unexplained death or, apparently, a death from other causes than an original diagnosis seem to be the norm. I think that if you die at home there has to be a post-mortem.

whywhywhy Fri 14-Feb-20 13:56:10

I used to type out post-mortems at our local hospital before I retired. If the death is sudden or unexplained then it has to be carried out. I don’t think that you can pre-book a solicitor to guard against this. Personally I would want my family to know why I had died, if suddenly, just in case it is something that they can avoided. Maybe an illness that is passed onto my children and grand children. It is all done professionally and you wont feel a thing.

Oopsadaisy3 Fri 14-Feb-20 14:00:38

My parents both died from an industrial disease, both in hospital so everyone knew what the illness was, but post mortems and inquests still had to be done.
When my Father died in hospital Mum and I were collected in a police car from her home and taken to the undertakers to identify my fathers body, thankfully I didn’t have to do that when Mum died. But there was still an inquest.

Septimia Fri 14-Feb-20 14:05:37

A post-mortem isn't a nice thought, annsixty, and I can understand you not wanting one.

However, if your death were to be unexpected it might also be suspicious - to the extent that it might have been caused or hastened by somebody. You'd probably want that somebody brought to justice, especially if they'd bumped you off when you were still enjoying life!

Callistemon Fri 14-Feb-20 14:16:34

I don't fancy having my organs stuffed back in in plastic bags.

I am really against single-use plastic - can I specify something biodegradable? If, of course .....

EllanVannin Fri 14-Feb-20 14:20:41

If it happens to me for God's sake make sure I'm dead first !!

MawB Fri 14-Feb-20 14:22:37

A post- mortem in England does not necessarily involve an autopsy. It can simply mean a review of an unexplained death where the deceased has not been seen recently by a doctor, before a death certificate can be issued.
This is not the case in Scotland.

Callistemon Fri 14-Feb-20 14:22:50

That worries me sometimes, EllanVannin, the thought that I could be in some kind of coma or trance and not dead.

M0nica Fri 14-Feb-20 14:25:06

I think that if your deaath is not expected and if you have not seen a doctor in the previous fortnight it is mandatory.

Look at it this way. You may be absolutely certain that no-one would hasten your death in any way, but others cannot assume that. If you were the victim of someone like Dr Shipman, wouldn't you want them to be discovered and stopped before they killed anyone else?

annsixty Fri 14-Feb-20 14:36:02

I do agree with you all, I am just a bit disturbed by it all.
I shall never know if it has been done of course.
Thankful for small mercies.

suziewoozie Fri 14-Feb-20 14:39:19

There are special arrangements for Jewish people I believe to avoid ‘opening up’ if they wish.

Callistemon Fri 14-Feb-20 14:39:22

Perhaps this thread should be a reminder to make a list of our wishes, even if we can do nothing about a post-mortem if necessary.

Although I may specify that they use those biodegradable food waste bags hmm

annsixty Fri 14-Feb-20 14:40:26

My H worked in Aston-under- Lyne and his closest colleague was a patient of Harold Shipman, he thought he was wonderful as did a lot of his patients.
They could not believe it of him at first.

Yennifer Fri 14-Feb-20 14:47:50

annsixty I have the exact same fear/phobia. Even though part of me knows its not rational or logical I can't be dealing with the thought of it. None of my little family are on an organ donar list either because I can't cope with it. I really hate that I feel that way and otherwise think organ donation is amazing! Phobias are just what they are, not always understandable but very real to the person with them. I think you should put in place whatever measures make you feel a bit better x

Callistemon Fri 14-Feb-20 14:55:03

You will have to opt out soon, Yennifer

Dottynan Fri 14-Feb-20 14:56:07

Don't jump into the lion's den or of Blackpool Tower as other than a natural death will require a post mortem.

sarahellenwhitney Fri 14-Feb-20 15:02:46

Monica
Sudden deaths have to be reported to Coroners /Medical Examiners who make decisions on post mortems.