RE: returning tissue blocks to relatives

From:"Nader, Alexander" <>

> 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.

I agree completely with Allen! 

When I read an article on this issue a couple of weeks ago in a local
newspaper, I couldn't believe it!

For about 150 years a huge amount of scientific reasearch is based on
autopsy material. I remember well the article about Thomas Hodgkin's
original cases stained with immunohistochemistry. This was done in a British
tumor center. Are those studies now gone forever?

BTW: more and more patients require blocks for a second opinion, sometimes
material dating back in the seventies of last century (mostly Hercep-test
related). And often the search for the blocks is more time-consuming than
the staining and interpreting them. Do patients pay for this service in
other countries?

Dr. Alexander Nader
Path. Institut Hanuschkrankenhaus
A-1140 Vienna, Austria

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