I thought autopsies were performed in cases where the cause of death was uncertain, or where foul play might be suspected. But listening to CNN yesterday I just happened to hear something about Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy revealing the fact that his death was caused by blunt force trauma to the skull.
Wasn’t this pretty obvious to anybody who watched it on TV? Or on the news? Or on all the re-runs & talk shows? How about the people that pulled him out of the wreckage? Wouldn’t it have been pretty clear to them (or at least to the paramedics or ER doctors) that this was a routine case of somebody getting his head bashed in and subsequently dying?
Is it routine for automobile accident victims to be autopsied? This seems to me a little like executing somebody via guillotine and then sending the pieces off to the lab to find out why s/he died.
The only other cases that I know of where autopsies have been performed when not actually necessary are when the family or next of kin requests one. But again, in this case I think it would have been pretty clear what did him in. Why would the family have wanted the body cut open? I think I would be very much opposed to having my family member sliced open if their cause of death was as obvious.