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May 12, 1956


Author Affiliations

Pathologist, Norwalk Hospital Norwalk, Conn.

JAMA. 1956;161(2):177. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970020055022

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To the Editor:—  Dr. Isaac Starr's guest editorial, "Potential Values of the Autopsy Today" (J. A.M. A.160:1144 [March 31] 1956), brings up certain problems that merit further consideration. According to Dr. Starr, autopsies are done badly at his hospital and the caliber of personnel doing them has declined greatly. He presents no evidence that this has occurred elsewhere. On the contrary, I believe that the performance of excellent routine autopsies is almost universal. Dr. Starr states "the morgue is swamped with routine material." He goes on to attribute this partly to the increase in autopsies and partly to shortages of prosectors. To quote from his editorial, "the professor of pathology... became interested in experimenting. Soon the behavior of neoplasms in experimental animals began to absorb his attention, and his interest in the autopsies waned steadily. As time passed it became harder and harder for him to find young

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