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Falling rates of perinatal postmortem examination: are we to blame?
  1. C Rose1,
  2. M Evans2,
  3. J Tooley3
  1. 1Peter Dunn Intensive Care Unit, St Michael’s Hospital, Bristol, UK
  2. 2NHS Lothian—University Hospitals Division, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3Peter Dunn Intensive Care Unit, St Michael’s Hospital
  1. Correspondence to:
    J Tooley
    Peter Dunn Intensive Care Unit, St Michael’s Hospital, Southwell Street, Bristol BS2 8EG, UK; james.tooley{at}

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Information from a high-quality postmortem examination is the right of every parent after the death of their child.1 Postmortem examination rates worldwide, however, continue to fall. Much of this decline has been attributed to changing societal views on postmortem examination, recent issues of organ retention, and evidence to suggest that parents or carers are less likely to give consent.2

Having reviewed our own practice, we hypothesised that rather than a decline in parental consent, clinicians were less likely to offer a postmortem examination. In November 2004, we carried out a semistructured telephone interview of 60 consultants from 46 level 2 …

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  • Competing interests: None.