Article Text

PDF

Is Post Mortem Practice in Terminal Decline and Should We Care?
  1. Jeanne E Bell
  1. Professor of Neuropathology, University of Edinburgh, UK; E-mail: jeanne.bell{at}ed.ac.uk

    Abstract

    Since 2000 the hospital post mortem rate has been in free fall and is now less than 5% of deaths in many hospitals in the UK. A major factor in this decline has been the turmoil following events in Bristol and in Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool where organs were retained apparently without the knowledge or consent of the bereaved. There is now a real danger of hospital post mortem examinations (PMEs) disappearing altogether, with the associated loss of the necessary skills amongst consultant pathologists. Does this matter?

    To answer the question we need to focus on what has been achieved through examination of post mortem human brains in the past, specifically for neurological disorders. Firstly, collections of diseased and normal cases in Brain Banks have facilitated the discovery of new diseases such as Dementia with Lewy Bodies and variant CJD. Secondly, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying long recognized diseases

    Statistics from Altmetric.com

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.