Autopsy: Why we can’t release autopsy report on Adeleke to family—LAUTECH

LAUTECH

The ​m​anagement of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo​, on Wednesday, said it stood by its decision of not releasing the result of the autopsy conducted on the first civilian governor of Osun State, senator Isiaka Adeleke.

LAUTECH in a statement also dismissed as sheer blackmail the allegation by the family of the late politician that the hospital denied the family access to the tissue used for the autopsy to enable a fresh autopsy conducted in another hospital.

The hospital management said that the standard practice world over is for anybody who desired such to apply, adding that the family never requested for the tissue as claimed.

LAUTECH dared the family to produce any application by it to the hospital to put a lie to the claim of the hospital.

​The statement on Wednesday signed by Ayodele Adeyemo on behalf of LAUTECH management said it became necessary to put records straight by explaining the role played by the hospital in conducting the autopsy on Adeleke.

​It reads:​ “The Management of the hospital held the distinguished Senator Adeleke as a politician of great reputation for unparalleled philanthropy, famous for his concerns for the plight of the downtrodden. We express our heartfelt condolence to the family, the State of Osun and Nigeria at large.

​”​On Sunday 23 April, 2017, the fateful day when the corpse of Senator Adeleke was brought to the hospital for autopsy, all necessary facilities, both materials and human were promptly mobilized to carry out a thorough and professional job.

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​”​When this unfortunate incident occurred, it was not lost on anyone that this is a great challenge, not just the loss of such a great man, but the political milieu and the renowned attitude of some Nigerian politicians to play politics with even the most sacred things. We therefore made up our minds right from the beginning to do a thorough and professional job that can stand professional and ethical scrutiny anywhere in the world.

​”​The death of the late Senator was first brought to the attention of the Management by the Medical Director of Biket where the senator’s body was first taken to. The body was met in the LAUTECH hospital with some family members and law enforcement agents including homicide detectives from the Nigeria Police.

”​The Police homicide detectives handed the relevant coroner papers (forms B and C) to the hospital’s pathologist, the only authorized professional in charge of Autopsy in the presence of the family members.

​”​It is very important to state categorically that with the completion of forms B and C of the Police ab initio, it is clear that the issue of autopsy is beyond a family wanting to know the cause of death. The import is that the autopsy has become a full criminal investigation into the death of the deceased.

​”​It needs to be stressed that the sudden death of any person at home is a coroner case that must be investigated by the Police. In a situation like that, the family no longer has a say in the matter.

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​”​In line with global practice and in a case like the above, such reports are NOT given to the family because they could be regarded as potential suspects that should not be allowed to have advance knowledge of findings of the investigations.

“The full autopsy report was not even made available to the Management of the hospital because the law does not permit the pathologist to do so.

​”​The so called authorization by one Mrs. Dupe Adeleke-Sanni as disclosed by the family could not have been the case as the autopsy became coroner’s case as stated above.

​”​What Mrs. Dupe Sanni wrote after the completion of the autopsy was what she called ‘Certificate of Honour’ to the hospital with the following content:

“O​n behalf of the Adeleke family, I, Mrs Dupe Sanni hereby certified that the family is satisfied and hereby confirmed our confidence in the pathology examination conducted by the Pathologist in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo on Senator Isiaka Adeleke, and we are therefore not interested in requesting for a repeat of the examination in any other hospital.”

​”​The statement was signed. The Management challenges the family to produce the authorization letter as they claimed.

​”​On payment of fee for autopsy, LAUTECH Hospital, like all other hospitals, works round the clock. Tests, drugs and procedures can be done and be paid for at any time of the day. Indeed, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo has a fully functional automated payment system that will issue receipts instantly.

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​”​The truth is that NO PAYMENT WAS MADE by the Adeleke family to the hospital for the autopsy. It is clearly an attempt to smear the hospital to suggest that hospital which runs Children and Adult emergencies could not issue a receipt for payment made on a Sunday.

​”​On the allegation of refusal to give tissue (sample) by the hospital, suffice to say that if the family of the deceased are keenly interested in obtaining the samples for autopsy by other agencies/ hospitals, it behoves on them to apply to the coroner for that.

“ The hospital challenges the family to provide a previous letter of application for tissues which was reportedly rejected by the hospital.

”​In conclusions, the hospital discharges its professional duties ethically and we are proud of the conduct of the hospital’s team.

​”​We commiserate with the Adeleke family, the people of the great town of Ede and indeed the entire people of Nigeria on the death of this illustrious son. His death was very painful to many people.

​”​We in the hospital who were saddled with the responsibility of not just mourning him, but also investigating the cause of his sudden death did our job under very difficult circumstances.

“We restate that our conduct was strictly based on professional principles. The hospital is devoid of other interest​,” the letter added​.