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Old 04-30-2009, 07:44 AM
 
503 posts, read 1,126,283 times
Reputation: 175
Default Who is entitled to see an autopsy report?

Did not know where to post this, so here it is. My brother died a few years ago and there is lots of questions about, how and why. We obtained the death notice that listed cause of death to be "Ascemic Heart Disease" which is broad term for heart disease. My sister in Law has the autopsy report but will not share it with us, reasons that are too crazy to go into. My own mother is not allowed to have it since she is not next of kin, my sister in law is. This is a really crazy law and we are working to get around this so that we can see for ourselves the real cause of heart problems. We want to make sure that it is not genetic or structural. Even though we have been checked by Cardiologist, its hard to look for everything when we don't know what we are looking for. Anyone ever hear of such craziness that the Mother of a deceased son can not get a copy of his autopsy!! We do live in NJ and my brother did to, I don't know if this is state or a federal law.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:55 AM
 
Location: North Jersey
10,723 posts, read 14,893,927 times
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As far as I know the next of kin get the autopsy report and it's her discretion on whom to share or not share it with.
If the autopsy was not mandated by the attending doctor, but requested by your SIL, it costs about $6000.00
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Ocean County, NJ
195 posts, read 625,622 times
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Yeah the spouse always trumps the next of kin.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:52 AM
 
Location: North Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forcedfx View Post
Yeah the spouse always trumps the next of kin.

The spouse is THE next of kin
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:15 AM
 
5,266 posts, read 4,287,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njkate View Post
The spouse is THE next of kin
Exactly Kate...!

Quote:
Did not know where to post this, so here it is. My brother died a few years ago and there is lots of questions about, how and why. We obtained the death notice that listed cause of death to be "Ascemic Heart Disease" which is broad term for heart disease. My sister in Law has the autopsy report but will not share it with us, reasons that are too crazy to go into. My own mother is not allowed to have it since she is not next of kin, my sister in law is. This is a really crazy law and we are working to get around this so that we can see for ourselves the real cause of heart problems. We want to make sure that it is not genetic or structural. Even though we have been checked by Cardiologist, its hard to look for everything when we don't know what we are looking for. Anyone ever hear of such craziness that the Mother of a deceased son can not get a copy of his autopsy!! We do live in NJ and my brother did to, I don't know if this is state or a federal law.
Do you think she is aiming for a lawsuit with hospital/etc.? maybe? and that is why she won't disclose any details??? Why wouldn't she share it?! That is too bad.
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:22 AM
 
Location: North Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njsocks View Post
Exactly Kate...!



Do you think she is aiming for a lawsuit with hospital/etc.? maybe? and that is why she won't disclose any details??? Why wouldn't she share it?! That is too bad.
Good point!!
There are many valid reasons someone will not want others to see an autopsy report
And by the way to the o/p most lay people will not have a clue at what they are reading
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:33 AM
 
503 posts, read 1,126,283 times
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Yes, I probably would not understand it, but my Cardiologist could read it and put all our minds at rest that we would not die our sleep also. Or that our children would not be one of the many that die on a football field. Many of these cases are because of some weakening of a artery or valve that goes undiagnosed.

No she is not suing anyone, she is just a nasty individual that holds this power over our head. And it was an ordered autopsy by the police because he was so young and healthy. Not over weight, even ran marathons and went to the gym. They had to rule out foul play, for them and our family.
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:42 AM
 
Location: North Jersey
10,723 posts, read 14,893,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by familymom View Post
Yes, I probably would not understand it, but my Cardiologist could read it and put all our minds at rest that we would not die our sleep also. Or that our children would not be one of the many that die on a football field. Many of these cases are because of some weakening of a artery or valve that goes undiagnosed.

No she is not suing anyone, she is just a nasty individual that holds this power over our head. And it was an ordered autopsy by the police because he was so young and healthy. Not over weight, even ran marathons and went to the gym. They had to rule out foul play, for them and our family.
Very sorry to hear that, hopefully she comes to her senses and allows your doctor to look at it. I guess you could take it to court but that will only cause more hard feelings as well as money for a lawyer
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:19 AM
Status: "E-A-G-L-E-S.....EAGLES!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Redneckville, NJ
4,553 posts, read 6,080,046 times
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I'm sorry for the loss of your brother.

I'm also sorry that your SIL has her head up her ass and will not give you the information you want regarding your brother's death. In-laws can be like that. My former MIL wouldn't even give me the recipe for her broccoli and cheese casserole when I asked for it.

Anyway aside from a lawsuit, as Kate mentioned I really don't think you can do anything else about it. Hopefully, your SIL will come to her senses and let you have a copy. Best of luck to you and your family.
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Ocean County
1,057 posts, read 434,363 times
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I used to deal with this issue as a newspaper reporter. From what I recall:

Generally, an autopsy report is public record, however the individual files that back up the report are personal medical records and are not publicly available.
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