Best-practice guidelines mandate a full postmortem examination in these deaths to identify genetic causes and allow potentially life-saving interventions in the victim’s relatives
The sudden and unexpected death of an apparently fit, healthy young person has a devastating effect on the family and community. If there is no adequate explanation for the death, the desperate sadness is usually compounded by frustration and fear that another family member may be struck. Yet, there is no uniform process in place in Australia and New Zealand to obtain a proper medical history of the victim, or to examine and investigate the victim’s family. Such a process could provide clues to the diagnosis and also identify previously undiagnosed genetic diseases.