Postmortem genetic testing in young individuals: What clinical medical practitioners need to know

S Afr Med J. 2022 Dec 1;112(12):886-889. doi: 10.7196/SAMJ.2022.v112i12.16800.


The death of a young person is most often a tragic occurrence, more so when this death was unexpected. Forensic pathologists are mandated to investigate such deaths, and there has been a strong move internationally towards genetic testing as an additional investigative tool. The aim of our article is to bring the advantage of implementing the so-called molecular autopsy in a local setting to the attention of medical practitioners. When a multidisciplinary approach is taken in cases of sudden unexpected death, the benefits to family members, and society as a whole, are irrefutable.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autopsy
  • Cause of Death
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac* / epidemiology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac* / prevention & control
  • Family
  • Genetic Testing*
  • Humans
  • South Africa