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Guidelines and Policies

Forensic Pathology – Code of Practice and Performance Standards in NSW
NSW Health
The purpose of this Policy Directive is to support all health practitioners requested to perform post-mortem examinations (including external examinations) on behalf of the Coroners in NSW within the NSW Health System.

Toolkits and Protocols

Autopsies and the Use of Tissues Removed from Autopsies [PDF]    Australia
Royal College of Pathologists of Australia
Looks at the legal and ethical dimensions of autopsies

Paper and Journals

Organ retention and communication of research use following medico-legal autopsy: a pilot survey of university forensic medicine departments in Japan
Takako Tsujimura-Ito, Yusuke Inoue, Ken-ichi Yoshida, J Med Ethics (2 August 2013)
This study investigated the circumstances and problems that departments of forensic medicine encounter with bereaved families regarding samples obtained from medico-legal autopsies.

Cases

Marchlewski v Hunter Area Health Service [1998] NSWSC 771
Parents claimed hospital staff had arranged for an autopsy to be performed on their baby who had died shortly after birth following avoidable complications. The parents alleged there had not been any explanation of the nature of an autopsy and that if they had been told what was involved they would have objected on religious and cultural grounds. Court said sensitivity should be shown to different burial rituals for other cultures and there was no evidence before the Court that in fact there was a proper explanation to the parents of what was involved.

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