Autopsy on the Slab?
Despite the intrinsic value of the ancient autopsy, it’s already extinct in some hospitals. Can it be saved?
Fedra Pavlou |
Given my Greek heritage, I decided to trace the historic derivation of the word autopsy; it comes from the Greek words ‘autos’ (self) and ‘opsis’ (see). Though Rokitansky (1804–1878) is known as the father of the modern autopsy, crude versions of the practice date back to 3000 BC when people were quite skillfully performing human dissection (and mummification).
Fast forward five millennia or so, and the autopsy still holds a great deal of value. It remains the only definitive way to confirm cause of death and sometimes diagnose disease – and it provides an abundance of knowledge to trainee pathologists as well as a window into hereditary conditions for family members. Nevertheless, the rate of hospital autopsy is in a dire state of decline. Why? A well-cited catalyst is the fact that in 1971 the US Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare (JCAHO) agreed to eliminate minimum autopsy requirements from the regulations for hospital accreditation (1, 2).
Read the full article now
Log in or register to read this article in full and gain access to The Pathologist’s entire content archive. It’s FREE and always will be!
Or register now - it’s free and always will be!
You will benefit from:
- Unlimited access to ALL articles
- News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
- Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Pathologist magazine
Or Login via Social Media
By clicking on any of the above social media links, you are agreeing to our Privacy Notice.