Why are autopsy rates low in Japan? Views of ordinary citizens and doctors in the case of unexpected patient death and medical error.

Shoichi Maeda, Etsuko Kamishiraki, Jay Starkey, Noriaki Ikeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines what could account for the low autopsy rate in Japan based on the findings from an anonymous, self-administered, structured questionnaire that was given to a sample population of the general public and physicians in Japan. The general public and physicians indicated that autopsy may not be carried out because: (1) conducting an autopsy might result in the accusation that patient death was caused by a medical error even when there was no error (50.4% vs. 13.1%, respectively), (2) suggesting an autopsy makes the families suspicious of a medical error even when there was none (61.0% vs. 19.1%, respectively), (3) families do not want the body to be damaged by autopsy (81.6% vs. 87.3%, respectively), and (4) families do not want to make the patient suffer any more in addition to what he/she has already endured (61.8% vs. 87.1%, respectively).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of healthcare risk management : the journal of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management
Volume33
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Medical Errors
Autopsy
Japan
Physicians
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

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