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March 5, 1973


Author Affiliations

Titusville, Fla

JAMA. 1973;223(10):1157-1158. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220100051019

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To the Editor.—  Dr. Prutting takes a completely wrong approach when he tries to generalize on the current value of the autopsy. In research centers and in academic environments, the autopsy serves its purpose as an investigative tool and a training procedure. The data obtained can be adequately catalogued and, more important, retrieved in a useful manner. However, in the small community hospital, the autopsy is many times an unsurmountable burden that distracts attention from surgical pathology and the clinical laboratory, the pathology of the living.Because some agree with Dr. Prutting, the rest of us should not be penalized by reinstating the absurd minimum percentage for accreditation of hospitals. Furthermore, I assure you that the number of autopsies performed at an institution does not necessarily measure the quality of care rendered there, as Dr. Prutting seems to imply.We are dealing mainly with utopian considerations. The average autopsy in