December 13, 1965

Some Addenda on the Role of Today's Autopsy

Author Affiliations

Albany, NY

JAMA. 1965;194(11):1257-1258. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090240091038

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To the Editor:—  In the necropsy, we have gained competency in the gross art and supported it by a two-dimensional antiquated visual tool, the microscope. Our cloak of decency has been woven of empirical and qualitative stains and we have gloried in reliving Virchow's experiences. But, today, in a scientific community this is not enough! We can only begin to recapture our true role in the medical community if we recognize and utilize some of our advantages. First, in surgical pathology we have relatively unlimited access to fresh normal and diseased human material. Second, in each of our hospitals we have a large self-supporting primate colony. Each of these patients can be studied before and after the removal of tissues and fluids with the most sophisticated means in the institution. The tissues are fresh, and can be used for physiologic or pharmacologic studies at the organ or cellular level and

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