Evaluation of the role of forensic autopsies in making decisions about claims of medical malpractice in Istanbul

Koc S., Algan B., PAKİŞ I.

AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00450618.2019.1620857
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Autopsy, medical malpractice, forensic medicine, DIAGNOSES, DISCREPANCIES
  • Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University Affiliated: Yes


The present study aims to investigate cases for which there was a claim of medical malpractice, to evaluate the role of autopsy in decisions about medical malpractice. A total of 306 cases for which there were claims of medical malpractice and for which autopsies were performed in Istanbul between 2006 and 2010 were retrospectively analysed. Age, gender, duration of hospitalization, decisions of medical malpractice, and specializations of the physicians who were found responsible for medical malpractice were evaluated. The clinical diagnosis and autopsy diagnosis of these cases were also evaluated retrospectively. The cases with or without major diagnostic changes have been compared regarding aspects of year, age groups, duration of hospitalization, and specializations of the staff who were accused of medical malpractice. Of the cases, 185 (60.46%) were males and the mean age was 37.2 years. The intrauterine and perinatal death group formed the largest group with a total of 70 cases (22.9%). Physicians constituted the largest group found to be guilty of medical malpractice. Eighty-one (26.5%) of the cases were concluded to show medical malpractice. The major change was 45.4%. The major change in autopsy was found to be statistically significant in cases with medical malpractice. In conclusion, autopsy is still the most important means for ensuring quality control for clinical applications.