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J Clin Pathol 66:326-329 doi:10.1136/jclinpath-2012-201250
  • Original article

Consent of the recently bereaved to post-mortem targeted angiography research: 207 adult cases

  1. Guy Rutty1
  1. 1East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit, University of Leicester, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester, UK
  2. 2Imaging Department, University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sarah L Saunders, East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit, University of Leicester, Robert Kilpatrick Building, Level 3, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester LE2 7LX, UK;gnr3{at}le.ac.uk
  • Received 1 October 2012
  • Revised 5 November 2012
  • Accepted 9 November 2012
  • Published Online First 8 December 2012

Abstract

Aims To present our experience of prospective telephone consenting for post-mortem CT angiography (PMCT-A) research using HM coroners’ cases.

Methods Local ethics committee, research and development office, and local HM coroners gave their permission for the families of the deceased, in cases where a ‘routine’ coroner's autopsy had been authorised, to be approached for their consent to PMCT-A research before the autopsy examination. A forensic pathologist or trial consenter telephoned the next of kin, discussed the nature of the study and obtained verbal informed consent for post-mortem imaging, angiography, case-dependent histological and toxicology sampling and for the use of the images for teaching and training. Thematic analyses of the reasons for giving or refusing consent are provided.

Results Of the 207 cases approached, seven relatives refused to enter their next of kin into the study (96.6% consent rate).

Conclusions This study shows that prospective consenting for HM coroners’ cases to be used for autopsy research is feasible in adults, and can be done ethically, and in the limited time available, by obtaining the consent of the next of kin by telephone before autopsy.