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Pediatric Autopsy

Hampton R. Bates, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(8):828-829. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460080014003.
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Sir.—In his letter in the November 1986 issue of AJDC, Dr Sprunger1 said that it would be helpful for the clinician and pathologist to meet with the families of dead patients before and after the autopsy. Autopsies have been a small but important part of my practice for the last 30 years, and I assure Dr Sprunger that I know many pathologists who are willing to help in the ways he suggests. However, some pathologists avoid direct involvement with the autopsy. Several years ago I attended an out-of-town educational meeting at one of the highest-ranked medical centers and, during a lunch break, went to the autopsy room to look around. I spoke with a young man who was performing an autopsy and assumed he was a member of the junior faculty or resident staff. He was a third-year medical student, and he said that all autopsies were performed

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