Michael doesn’t have to authorize an autopsy, Michael really doesn’t have any choice in the matter and he can’t refuse an autospy, the Medical Examiner needs to approve the request for a cremation before it happens.
Yesterday, George Felos said “that the chief medical examiner for Pinellas County, Dr. John Thogmartin, had agreed to perform an autopsy.
He said her husband wants definitive proof showing the extent of her brain damage. Michael Schiavo contends his wife told him years ago she would not want to be kept alive artificially under such circumstances.” (Via Fox News).
Michelle Malkin has some more links regarding this announcement and questions that have arisen regarding Terri’s condition.
Last night on Greta Van Susteren, reporter Julie Banderas said that it’s Florida law that an autopsy be performed on any body before cremation. This isn’t precisely true, in the case of a natural death with no questions, the Medical Examiner can approve a cremation without an autopsy, but the Medical Examiner must give approval before a body can be cremated.
At the Pinellas County Medical Examiners website here is the relevant statute: 406.11(1)(c)
A. All requests for cremation must be approved by the Medical Examiner prior to the actual cremation.
1.Before authorizing the irretrievable disposal of a body by cremation, the Medical Examiner must be assured that no future question will arise about the cause or circumstances of the death of the individual.
2. The death, if previously unreported to the Medical Examiner, must first be verified as a non-Medical Examiner case according to Florida Statutes, 406.11