RE: returning tissue blocks to relatives

From:Richard N Powell <>

This could create some interesting legal dilemmas....

We are required by law to retain blocks and slides for twenty years and
there is a current move to make the requirement indefinite.... Which law
will be the prevailing one? Added to this there is a "cultural" (Australian
Aboriginal) requirement that all tissues removed are either retained by the
lab or mortuary to be handed to relatives when the original owner dies or
given back after examination. This lately has extended from the usual (pre
ninteen week) foetuses to placentas and other tissues. The potential for
eternal trouble is also stirred up by the social workers who encourage this
behaviour !........

Our museum collection was put at great risk a while ago when a stolen
exhibit (a very unusual tattoo) turned up on the shelf of a tattoo parlour
and was recognised by the wife of the diseased.

Richard Powell

-----Original Message-----
From: denise M m Long-Woodward []
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2001 5:34 AM
Subject: Re: returning tissue blocks to relatives

DNA for cloning????

On Thu, 31 May 2001 08:58:44 -0400 "Dr. Allen A. Smith"
<> writes:
> I am disturbed by the suggestion from the U.K. that tissue blocks
> from
> autopsies be returned to relatives of the deceased.
> I cannot see what use the tissue blocks from an autopsy would be to
> relatives.
> Taking them out of the pathology lab system seems to be a formula
> for ending
> all academic research in human pathology.
> Allen A. Smith, Ph.D.
> School of Graduate Medical Sciences
>    Podiatric Medicine and Surgery
> Barry University
> Miami Shores, Florida

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