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Is H&E morphology coming to an end?
  1. H Fox1
  1. 1Department of Pathological Sciences, Stopford Building, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PT, UK
  1. Professor Fox.

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The title and subject of this contribution were inflicted upon me by the editors of this Journal and were not of my own choosing. The question posed to me by the title had never entered my mind, and my instinctive and intuitive response to it was “Of course H&E morphology is not coming to an end.” However, every now and again one is forced to provide logical reasons for an intuitive belief and it is a useful exercise to consider both the present and future status of simple morphological diagnosis in histopathological practice.

When considering the future it is, however, necessary to point out that only those who are either extremely foolish or recklessly brave make short term predictions for the correctness of such prophecies will be proved or disproved within a brief time span, usually while the forecaster is still alive and hence still available to be ridiculed. Very long term predictions—for example extending over a millennium—are, however, free from such danger and can be made with a degree of abandon that allows even the most outré of prospects to be postulated without running the risk of future derision and scorn: this is because when the truth does eventually emerge both the forecaster and those to whom the forecast is made will be not only dead but long forgotten.

Any sensible forecaster is therefore going to take the short long-term future as their remit, thus avoiding both almost immediate retribution and long delayed irrelevance. As neither I, nor any other living person, can make any sensible predictions as to the future beyond the next 50 years I shall take that period as the blank canvas on which to paint (presumably in red and blue) my views on the possible demise of H&E morphology.

It is necessary first to consider …

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