The attitudes of junior medical staff in a university teaching hospital to requesting postmortem examination were assessed. Following completion of 100 death certificates, autopsy was sought in only 28 cases (and refused in 18). The majority of staff were unaware of the reported benefits of autopsy, despite their inclusion in the local medical handbook and had received no training in how to seek permission for a necropsy. Formal education programmes have been shown to improve hospital autopsy rates and the results of this study suggest that these would be welcomed by junior medical staff.
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