Leadership is neededBMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c1566 (Published 24 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1566
All rapid responses
Lucas may not be in a position to state what I suspect to be his
Failure of doctors to request autopsies may be because of benign
ignorance of the usefulness of the procedure, essentially because of a
change of emphasis in medical teaching, but the current legislative
bureaucracy is an additional excuse for coroners and medical practitioners
to collude in denying the opportunity for a post mortem examination.
In Lincolnshire we have first rate centralised pathology services,
and over a dozen consultant histopathologists at the one site in Lincoln.
One of those colleagues informs me that one can train as a
histopathologist now without any requirement to be able to do autopsies.
In his department, no consultant under the age of fifty does autopsies.
There is no reason in 2010 to doubt the findings of Cameron &
colleagues thirty years ago when they described relevant unsuspected
pathology at autopsy 1. , and indeed Lucas made rather similar comments
ten years ago. 2
1.Cameron HM, McGoogan E, Watson H. Necropsy: a yardstick for
clinical diagnosis. BMJ 1980;281:985-8.
Competing interests: No competing interests