Doctors have announced that Otto Warmbier’s family has refused to do an autopsy before his funeral is scheduled to take place this Thursday.
Warmbier’s family decided that doing an autopsy would be a ‘moot point.’ Doctors agree, although they did do an ‘external examination’ and are also researching his medical files.
North Korea claims that the teen slipped into a coma after developing botulism.
“No conclusions about the cause and manner of Mr. Warmbier’s death have been drawn at this time as there are additional medical records and imaging to review and people to interview,” the office said in a statement. Warmbier died Monday, just days after he was returned from detention in North Korea in a coma.
They agree, however, that things would probably have been different with better treatment. The cause is “almost a moot point,” says Duke University professor of neurology Daniel Laskowitz. “Whatever they did to him—they took a healthy kid, put him under horrible conditions, mental and physical anguish … they left him at risk, didn’t treat him properly, didn’t tell anyone,” he says. (Lawmakers including Sen. John McCain say Warmbier was murdered by Kim Jong Un’s regime.)
Doctors say that anything could have caused Warmbier’s coma, including a drug overdose, disease, or torture. They didn’t find any signs of blunt force trauma, however.
Many blame president Obama for his failure to negotiate a release for Warmbier during his presidency.
The teen was taken prisoner in 2015 after being accused of removing a propaganda poster off of a wall. He was arrested at the airport on his way back to the United States. His roommate in North Korea was the only witness to see Warmbier being taken away.