Dilemmas and solutions for the pathologist and clinician encountering religious views of the autopsy

Gregory J. Davis, Bradley R. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Religious objections to the autopsy are as old as autopsies themselves. The development of anatomic studies was hindered in ancient eras, as well as in more recent times, by spiritual views occasionally hostile to the opening of bodies. This review addresses historical and recent attitudes of the three major monotheistic faiths-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-toward postmortem examinations. Two case examples will illustrate that in many clinical scenarios in which an autopsy is desired or warranted but met with initial resistance by loved ones, a combination of patience and learned communication can pave the way to a family's understanding and acceptance of the procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1044
Number of pages4
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Volume89
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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