Family says doctor won’t sign man’s death certificate
A Naples family says a doctor is keeping their loved one from properly being laid to rest. Larry Johnson passed away back in February but the funeral home legally can't cremate his body because his VA doctor will not sign his death certificate. Video by fox4now.comvideo
NAPLES - A Naples family says a doctor is keeping their loved one from properly being laid to rest.
"It's been 18 days since my husband died and I can't cope with this anymore," said Shirley Johnson.
Larry Johnson passed away back in February but the funeral home legally can't cremate his body because his VA doctor will not sign his death certificate.
Fuller Funeral Home, where Johnson's body is being kept, sent the death certificate over to the doctor.
"He told them he was shredding it and he wasn't going to sign it," said Johnson’s daughter, Vicki Sprauge.
The doctor reportedly told the funeral home that he would not sign it because an autopsy needed to be performed.
The family says it does not understand why the autopsy has to be done since the medical examiner's office ruled the death was the result of natural causes.
The family was willing to pay for a private autopsy until they found out the price tag for such a procedure.
"Private autopsies are not that inexpensive.... they start at around $4,000 and go up which after paying for the funeral we're tapped out."
Fox 4 contacted the VA to find out why the doctor will not sign off on the death certificate so they can properly grieve the death of their loved one.
A spokesperson at the VA told us that they would need to look into the matter further before they could comment.
In Your Corner also email specific details about the case to the VA spokesperson and will be checking back to see what they find out.
The family did receive some better news from Fuller Funeral Home.
They convinced the medical examiner's office to sign the death certificate… meaning the funeral home can proceed with the cremation.
But the family would still like to know why Johnson's own doctor refused to sign death certificate.
"Why he would not sign my husband's death certificate? I want answers, I deserve answers," said Johnson.