Sorry to hear about your mother’s passing. Talk with a local medical malpractice attorney because her medical records may be enough to prove a violation of the standard of care.
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
An autopsy would have been extremely helpful but not entirely necessary. It would be extremely interesting to obtain the pathology report on the appendectomy to determine if the surgery was appropriate and if the fever was caused by the inflamed appendix. If not there would be an arguable departure from good practice in having performed unnecessary surgery and potentially exacerbating an existing infection which was not otherwise investigated. I recommend you consult a local malpractice attorney.
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