Dáil Éireann - Volume 518 - 12 April, 2000
Written Answers. - Post-Mortem Examinations.
Mr. Allen Mr. Allen
124. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children if he has had discussions with the Irish Hospitals Consultants Association regarding the sharp drop in autopsy permissions; and the implications this decrease will have on the future of medical audit. [11010/00]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Prior to the establishment of the inquiry into post mortem examination policy, practice and procedure in the State since 1970 and in particular as it relates to organ removal, retention, storage and disposal I had a number of meetings with interested organisations including the Irish Hospital Consultants Association.
In the course of that meeting it was brought to my attention that, since last December when my Department issued instructions as to the need to obtain informed consent from next of kin in cases where hospitals performed non-coroner post-mortem examinations, there were indications from some hospitals that the number of post-mortem examinations requiring consent have shown a decrease.
 It is too early to judge whether this will continue in the longer term and what if any implications this might have on the future of medical audit. However, I believe that informed consent from next-of-kin is essential in all future non-coroner post-mortem examinations.
Dáil Éireann 518 Written Answers. Post-Mortem Examinations.