The attorneys and staff at Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC understand that the sickness and death of a close family member can be difficult and traumatic. The decision to ask for an autopsy may be a very emotional one. The family may have moral or religious objections to an autopsy, as well.
Where occupational disease is merely suspected and has not yet been diagnosed, an autopsy may be critical in proving the case and, without it, there may be no basis to go forward with a claim. An autopsy is also an extremely useful tool in obtaining Workers’ Compensation benefits for the surviving spouse and/or family of the decedent. In some instances, the autopsy report has been the main medical report relied upon in establishing a Workers’ Compensation claim for death benefits.
Each client’s circumstances are different, and despite our general recommendation for an autopsy, we encourage you to discuss this important issue with your loved ones prior to the time of passing. Your family members, treating physicians and funeral director also need to be advised of your decision whether or not to undergo an autopsy.
You may want to sign a Designation of Agent form in order to authorize an autopsy following your death. Should you decide to undergo an autopsy, we recommend that you send the signed designation to the agent you have selected, to your health care proxy, if applicable, to your primary doctor and to the funeral director. You should also keep a signed copy with your own records.
If you would like to request a Designation of Agent form, please contact our office toll-free at 866.238.1452 or visit the “Contact Us” section of our website.