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December 19, 1931


JAMA. 1931;97(25):1894-1895. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730250052019

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The percentage of necropsies performed in this country is still lamentably low. A properly performed necropsy is not only necessary in many cases to establish the exact cause of death but is one of the chief means of advancement of medical knowledge. The reasons for failure to obtain necropsies are obvious. The physician in charge of a case lacks the scientific urge, the relatives of the deceased are opposed, and the mortician is, to say the least, cool, because necropsies may disturb the routine of his work. A joint committee of the New York Academy of Medicine, the New York Pathological Society and the Metropolitan Funeral Directors' Association recently held a series of meetings to discuss the problem. A substantial agreement was reached. All agreed that a necropsy by a pathologist is desirable in order to advance knowledge concerning the nature of the disease and to provide reliable records. The

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