Will More Post-Mortem Investigations Help Reveal More Instances Of Nursing Home Abuse?

Acknowledging situations where ‘accidential’ or ‘suspcious’ nursing home deaths may have gone without any formal investigation, South Carolina officials are considering ways to effectively investigate these situations.

Post-Mortem InvestigationsUnder the current system in South Carolina, after a nursing home patient dies from ‘natural causes’ the body may be transferred to a funeral home without any involvement from the local coroner.

Given that in many circumstances the determination between natural vs. accidental death is likely to be made by a physician who is employed by the nursing home, some South Carolina coroners are calling for their offices to be notified every time a nursing home patient dies.

Theoretically, the notification of the coroner would both help confirm the cause of death and trigger an investigation into a suspicious death quickly when the circumstances surrounding the death are both fresh in the minds of the people involved.  For the decedents family, a timely investigation would also help them get some piece of mind as to concerns of poor care or abuse at the nursing home.

Considering that an independent party would be able to make these important determinations regarding the cause of death, I can only believe that this procedural change is a good thing for grieving families and patient care.

Given that many nursing home abuse and neglect cases hinge upon physical evidence– such as the condition of a decedents body– I would hope that this policy would effectively root out cases where there indeed been a situation involving mistreatment.

On the other hand, I would similarly think that many of the nursing homes would be in favor of a shift in policy as a determination as to the cause of death by an independent party would likely help reduce any wrongful allegations of poor care.

Read more about this suggested policy impacting South Carolina Nursing Homes here.

For laws related to South Carolina nursing homes, look here.


Will Proposal Notifying Coroner Following Nursing Home Deaths Help Deter Abuse?

Autopsies May Help Families Determine If Their Loved One Was A Victim Of Nursing Home Neglect Or Abuse

Most Nursing Home Deaths Remain Uninvestigated

Justia Lawyer Rating for Jonathan Rosenfeld

Client Reviews

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric