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December 29, 1934


JAMA. 1934;103(26):2054. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750520056039

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Autopsy: Consent of Surviving Spouse Bar to Suit by Child.—  The defendant company issued two policies of insurance payable in case of the accidental death of Webber, one to his wife and one to his executors, administrators or assigns. Each policy contained a provision reading, in part, as follows:The Company shall have the right and opportunity... to make an autopsy in case of death where it is not forbidden by law.Webber died under circumstances that made it questionable whether his death was or was not accidental. About a month later, at the instance of an investigator for the defendant, the widow gave written consent to an autopsy of Webber's body. Thereafter the body was disinterred and an autopsy performed over the objection of the plaintiff, an adult daughter of Webber. Alleging that the defendant had no right to disinter the body of her father and to perform an

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