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January 8, 1992

The Office of Decedent Affairs

Author Affiliations

University Hospitals of Cleveland (Ohio) and Case Western Reserve University

JAMA. 1992;267(2):235. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480020045025

To the Editor.  —Haque et al1 are to be congratulated for establishing a Decedent Affairs Office within their Department of Pathology. Admirable though their presentation was, the office they described as being unique most assuredly is not. A strikingly similar system, conceptually and practically, with virtually identical goals and objectives, was established at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in the early 1950s, at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1960, at the University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University in 1967, at the Arizona Health Sciences Center in 1971, at the M. S. Hershey Medical Center in 1971, and at the Hahnemann University Hospital in 1986. There may be others. Common to the execution of each of these programs was a truly unique feature, namely, the employment of licensed morticians and the creation of a Mortician's Office.The choice of morticians as the center