Wednesday, July 29, 2015

British Judge Says Coroner Must Try To Accommodate Religious Objection To Invasive Autopsy

In Britain yesterday, a High Court judge ruled that a coroner acted improperly in rejecting a request by a Jewish family that a non-invasive alternative to an autopsy (such as a CT scan) be used in determining the cause of death of an 86-year old woman who died in a London hospital shortly after she was admitted.  According to the Jewish Chronicle:
[Justice Mitting] said a non-invasive procedure should be considered when the family requested it on religious grounds if there were a “reasonable possibility” that it could establish the cause of death; if there were “no good reason” to order an invasive autopsy; and if it would not impair the findings of an invasive autopsy should that subsequently prove necessary.
The non-invasive procedure should also be done “without imposing an additional cost burden on the coroner,” the judge said.
The ruling will impact both Jewish and Muslim families.