Photography: Kirsten Luce

The Slow, Troubling Death of the Autopsy

Why you should get an autopsy if it’s the last thing you do

Samuel Ashworth
Elemental
Published in
29 min readSep 22, 2020

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Disclaimer: The images in this story may be disturbing for some people.

For most people, the mere word “autopsy” summons up visceral images. Bodies lying cold and blue in a lab, a Y-shaped incision on their naked chest. Sardonic doctors hovering over them with medieval…

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Samuel Ashworth
Elemental

Samuel Ashworth’s journalism, fiction, and criticism have appeared in the Washington Post magazine, Eater, Longreads, Hazlitt, and more. He lives in DC.