Autopsy histopathology where the prosector is not a histopathologist: a proposal

Mohammed Madadin, Rihab Molah, Stephen Cordner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Forensic pathology is a specialty that involves death investigation while clinical forensic medicine is the application of the practice of medicine to the requests of the law in relation to the living. Around the world, there is diverse practice for these two disciplines. The forensic physician or forensic doctor (sometimes, called a forensic pathologist but not a forensic histopathologist) in parts of the world such as continental Europe, the Middle East and India, practice both clinical forensic medicine and forensic pathology. This is the specialty, for the purposes of this paper, we will call forensic medicine. The forensic doctor will usually receive training in autopsy dissection, perhaps with a short training of a few months in anatomical pathology or surgical histopathology. When undertaking autopsies (involving internal as well as external examination), if it is thought histological assessment is required, the forensic doctor will sample the organs and tissues required and refer the specimens to the hospital histopathologist for microscopic examination. This division of responsibility could compromise the quality of the autopsy unless handled correctly.Where the histological assessment of the autopsy specimen is undertaken by a pathologist other than the one who dissected the body and collected the samples, standard operating procedures need to be developed to minimize the risk to the overall quality of the autopsy. We are not aware that any such procedures have been published, hence we offer an outline of what a set of such procedures might contain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-387
Number of pages5
JournalForensic Science, Medicine and Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Autopsy practice
  • Autopsy sampling
  • Forensic histopathology
  • Forensic medicine

Cite this