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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1987 Sep;111(9):846-50.

Autopsy legislation and practice in various countries.


Information concerning autopsy laws, regulations, rates, and practice was collected from 29 industrialized countries. In many countries, laws have been revised in recent years, introducing more restrictive rules, with consent required from the next-of-kin. With one exception (Finland), introduction of a requirement for consent was followed by a decline in the autopsy rate. Experiences in various countries are discussed. It is apparent that the problem of decreasing autopsy rates is an international one. Efforts to inform and educate the public about the benefits of autopsy are necessary, if the decision whether to perform autopsy is to remain their responsibility.

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