Posted on Apr 2, 2021

McKenzie Mortuary Services

An autopsy is ordered when a death occurs due to but not limited to accidents, suicide, homicide, unknown, or unexpected deaths. My maternal grandmother was a “coroner’s case”. Due to a fall to the floor and a broken hip, she had surgery and was recovering nicely until one morning during recovery she just was not responsive. She had an infection which caused her death days later. Though she was a “coroner’s case” she was not autopsied. Instead, the coroner’s office investigated the cause of death and assigned a coroner’s clearance number to the death certificate. Her death was ruled an accident. If it were not due to the fall, she would not have succumbed to the infection. With my grandmother, it was over a month or so since her fall and then date of death. Recently I had a man that was accidentally shot during a hunting trip back in 1972. The shot paralyzed the man for life and caused one medical issue after another and though his death was nearing 50 years later, it was ruled an accident. Many families share “why does it matter; they are still gone.” It is important to have these findings on the death certificate for legal, emotional, and financial reasons. If a person has a life insurance policy with an “accidental clause” written into the policy, then the insurance company pays more than the face value of that policy.
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