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Immigrant’s Family Asks for Second Autopsy

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The family of an undocumented Mexican immigrant who died this week in a Chicago hospital is asking for an independent autopsy to rule out medical negligence. We report from our West Side bureau.

Thirty-year-old Francisco Pantaleón of west suburban Hanover Park suffered a brain hemorrhage last month, then spent weeks in a coma at University of Illinois Medical Center.

Pantaleón had no health insurance and didn’t qualify for federal aid because he lacked proper papers to be living in the United States. Without a place for his long-term care, the hospital was planning to fly Pantaleón back to Mexico. But the man’s family feared he wouldn’t survive the trip and held a protest outside the hospital last week.

A University of Illinois Medical Center spokeswoman says Pantaleón’s death Tuesday was sudden. That’s left his family suspicious about his care since the hospital said he was well enough for international travel. The hospital says Pantaleón received exemplary care.

The family wrote to the Cook County Medical Examiner today, asking for a second autopsy.

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