This article discusses the declining rate of autopsies being performed nationwide, and their implications for medical science. "Doctors are reluctant to request them, scared to discover a misdiagnosis that could lead to an expensive malpractice suit. Health maintenance organizations and government agencies are reluctant to pay for them. And there is a shortage of doctors trained to perform them." The article examines the various benefits autopsies offer the medical community -- from measuring the effects of new drugs to understanding various diseases and other health problems, and the possible benefits to families who want to determine just how their loved one died, and from what. The growth of one Los Angeles-based discount autopsy business, 1-800-AUTOPSY, is also discussed.
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