Medical schools and hospitals must provide training for medical and other appropriate personnel in requesting and obtaining agreement for post-mortems. Anyone seeking agreement for a post-mortem must first liaise with the pathologist to determine the necessity of, and grounds for, retaining tissue so that relatives can make informed decisions. Hospital authorities must provide an information leaflet for relatives to explain the purpose of post-mortems, the medical benefits of tissue and organ retention and their rights to grant or withhold agreement.

Relatives agreeing to post-mortems must be given a copy of the form they signed and a copy of the information provided to them about the post-mortem and any retention of tissue and organs.

Hospital authorities must ensure post-mortem forms offer relatives the choice of granting or withholding permission for each of a range of options for which they can separately grant or withhold their agreement. Reports of post-mortems required by law should state clearly what , if any, t issues or organs have been kept in order to investigate the cause of death.

Guidelines for the retention of tissues at post-mortem examinations . Royal College of Pathologists. www.rcpath.org