Houston Matters

Molecular Autopsies: The Ethical Challenges of Using DNA to Determine Cause of Death

If you’ve seen a few crime shows, you know that when someone dies, an autopsy is often conducted to determine the cause. But sometimes that’s not enough. Now, with advances in genetics, some medical examiners are turning to something called a “molecular autopsy.” To find out what that means – and to learn about the […]

Photo: Michael Hagerty, Houston Public MediaQuianta Moore, health policy scholar at Rice University. (Photo: Courtesy Baker Institute)If you’ve seen a few crime shows, you know that when someone dies, an autopsy is often conducted to determine the cause. But sometimes that’s not enough. Now, with advances in genetics, some medical examiners are turning to something called a “molecular autopsy.”

To find out what that means – and to learn about the medical and ethical challenges associated with them – Michael Hagerty talked with Quianta Moore, a health policy scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

(At Right: Quianta Moore, health policy scholar at Rice University. Photo: Courtesy Baker Institute)

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