Your news focus ('The age of consent', pages 12-13, 8 February) quotes the president of the Royal College of Pathologists as saying that studies of post-mortem cases have shown that in half of 15 per cent of cases the clinical diagnosis of cause of death is so far off the mark that the patient's treatment while alive should have been different.

At face value, this is a worrying statistic. Do clinicians have only an 85 per cent chance of successful treatment of the living?

Jon Rigby Wakefield