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Scalia Autopsy Decision Divides Pathologists

Scalia Autopsy Decision Divides Pathologists
(Copyright DPC)

Tuesday, 23 February 2016 04:45 PM

Should Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s body undergone an autopsy?

A group of pathologists polled by The New York Times offered mixed perspectives when asked the question of whether the 79-year-old’s body should have been examined after he was declared to have died from natural causes, presumably cardiac arrest.

No autopsy was performed and the certification of death was made without even an examination of the body, The Times says.

Texas officials said they had obeyed the wishes of the Scalia family in not authorizing an autopsy after the justice was found Feb. 13 in his bed at a West Texas ranch.

An estimated 326,000 people of all ages experience cardiac arrest out of a hospital in the United States each year, and 90 percent of them die, according to the American Heart Association.

Three forensic pathologists interviewed by The Times were divided in their opinions about the handling of the death of Justice Scalia. Two — Dr. Michael M. Baden, a former chief medical examiner in New York City, and Dr. Vincent J. M. Di Maio, a former chief medical examiner in San Antonio — said officials had done what is usual for many individuals who die if their doctors have attested they had potentially fatal ailments.

“What you have is an elderly man found dead in bed, and if he was not on the Supreme Court everyone would say, O.K., and nothing more would happen,” Dr. Di Maio said. “It is only who he was that makes it a big deal. You can make an argument that they should have done an autopsy, but the only reason you would do it is he is a Supreme Court judge.”

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Should Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's body undergone an autopsy? Doctors are divided on the issue.
scalia, antonin, autopsy
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2016-45-23
Tuesday, 23 February 2016 04:45 PM
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