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January 8, 1992

The Office of Decedent Affairs-Reply

Author Affiliations

The University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston

JAMA. 1992;267(2):235-236. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480020045026

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In Reply.  —We thank Dr Carter for providing information on the presence of centralized pathology-based offices like ours at other institutions. We suspected that there might be such offices, but our search of the literature failed to turn up relevant publications.The "mortician system" used at the University Hospitals of Cleveland is certainly similar to our Decedent Affairs Office; however, our system incorporates several additional goals, such as risk management reports, quality control and quality improvement, accurate completion of death certificates, and acquisition of tissue-organ donations. As to the type of individuals hired for this office, we chose to train these individuals ourselves simply because the cost of employing morticians would be much higher than that of a college graduate.Carter's comment that the Mortician's Office increased autopsy rates is similar to our experience with our Decedent Affairs Office.