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Notes on necropsy.
  1. H E Emson
  1. Department of Pathology, Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.


    From the above it can be seen that autopsy is not a grotesque, macabre procedure performed for peculiar and disreputable reasons in a remote corner of the hospital. On the contrary, it is a scientific study designed to forward our knowledge of health and disease by the three primary methods of service, teaching and research. The examination of a dead body is always an emotional procedure. The pathologist and those concerned with frequent performance of autopsies become accustomed to it. To witness an autopsy may cause considerable emotional reaction in inexperienced people. As part of the learning experience, it can be very useful and appropriate staff are welcome to attend by arrangement. As proper protection garments are required and the suitability of viewing certain autopsies may arise, a formal request to the responsible pathologist is necessary. Whatever one's religious beliefs, it may be helpful to think of the deceased person's body as something which he or she has used during life, but which is no longer in any real way the persons once life has departed. The decreased body must be treated with dignity and respect as representing the remains of what was a human being and because of the natural desire of the next of kin that the remains of their relative should so be treated; it is not the person who used the body during life.

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