May a family refuse a forensic autopsy?
No. Forensic autopsies are necessary to answer medicolegal questions that are deemed in the public’s interest or to address a question of law.
The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner and the county medical examiners recognize that an individual’s religious beliefs may be contrary to the performance of an autopsy. Both entities are open to discussion to try to accommodate the family’s wishes and to fulfill the legal obligation presented by your loved one’s death. Please consult with our office or the county medical examiner’s office to share your concerns as soon as possible.