In brief

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 28 October 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4416

Fall in autopsies may adversely affect monitoring of medical outcomes: Autopsy rates in the United States have fallen since the 1940s from 50% of bodies to less than 8% today, and healthcare financing reforms may be implicated, say researchers (Social Science and Medicine 2009 Oct 21, doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.09.018). “Our results imply that these reforms may inadvertently reduce the incentive to monitor medical outcomes using techniques such as autopsies, which is often called the ‘gold standard’ in measuring medical outcomes,” they say.

US uses more intensive care beds than UK: US patients in hospital who die …

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