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December 13, 1965

Some Addenda on the Role of Today's Autopsy

Author Affiliations

Goldsboro, NC

JAMA. 1965;194(11):1257. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090240091037

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To the Editor:—  The Joint Commission on Accreditation seems less interested that the pathologist serve the living by supervising the clinical laboratories than they are in the autopsy ritual. Until the commission takes a more enlightened view of this situation, it will probably become worse rather than better.The commission should abandon rigid percentage requirements on the number of autopsies performed. Autopsies should be counted only when the patient has had an adequate clinical work-up with suitable laboratory studies so that the autopsy may fill a need in the explanation of deficiencies of clinical studies. Further, the commission should insist on proper physician supervision of clinical laboratories. Hospitals at present are being accredited with laboratory technicians supervising the clinical laboratory which deals with the living, while a physician performs the autopsies and serves the dead.The financial problem of the autopsy needs comment. Under the present arrangement, the cost of

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