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July 12, 1995

Consent for Invasive Procedures in the Newly Deceased

Author Affiliations

Haukeland Hospital Haukeland, Norway
The Norwegian Air Ambulance Bergen, Norway

JAMA. 1995;274(2):128-129. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530020046025

To the Editor.  —In the January 25,1995, issue of The JOURNAL, Dr McNamara and colleagues1 presented the results from a small but important study on the feasibility of obtaining consent for teaching an invasive airway procedure in newly deceased patients. Recently, this also has been discussed in other medical journals.2-4 As anesthesiologists involved in the teaching of emergency skills to medical students and other medical personnel, we would like to make some comments.There is no doubt that we have an obligation to ensure that emergency medical team members in the future achieve the best possible competence in the treatment of acutely ill and injured patients. Few skills are more vital than the ability to secure the airway (specifically, performing an endotracheal intubation). Today, physicians seldom get enough training to develop this demanding psychomotor skill, and newly deceased patients represent a valuable teaching source. No model can mimic

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