Full time forensic pathology service

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7340.791/b (Published 30 March 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:791

Practical alternative to forensic pathology service exists

  1. Jason Payne-James, editor, Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine (jasonpaynejames@cs.com),
  2. Ian Wall, barrister at law,
  3. Peter Dean, Her Majesty's coroner
  1. Forensic Healthcare Services, London E9 7EH
  2. Coroner's Office, Rochford Police Station, Rochford, Essex SS4 1BL
  3. Department of Histopathology, Guy's, King's, and St Thomas' School of Medicine, St Thomas' Hospital, London SE11 6SP

    EDITOR—Milroy and Hunt draw attention to the adverse publicity surrounding several wide ranging issues involving the medical profession.1 We agree that the investigation of deaths has deficiencies and the decision to undertake necropsy should be assisted by experienced and appropriately trained practitioners who could, in addition, be responsible for collecting, correlating, and analysing data so that unusual events or trends and practices are rapidly identified and investigated.

    There are major practical problems in establishing a full time forensic pathology service to undertake this role. Forensic pathology services in England and Wales are depleted, overstretched, and in an apparent state of decline. There are, for example, now no university based forensic pathology services in London, a major capital city. A notable number of pathologists now work independently of any academic body, …

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