Post mortem examinations for medical research

You can help doctors to learn more about any medical conditions which you have experienced by agreeing in advance to a post mortem examination. Samples of organs and tissues may be kept for further investigation and research.

There may be a very short delay but your body will be returned to your family/executors for a funeral.

Most post mortem examinations take place in the hospital where a person has died.

If you have a rare condition and are under the care of a specialist centre of research you may also want to explore the possibility of donating organs and/or tissue for research after your death. If your death does not occur in the specialist centre your next of kin may have to arrange for a post mortem examination to be carried out where you die and the tissue to be transferred to the research centre.

It is best to ask your specialist consultant about this so that any particular instructions can be given to your family for when they need them. Some, but not all, research centres are able to contribute to the extra costs of transporting your body, but please be aware there may be financial implications to these arrangements.

If you die at home, in a hospice or in residential care it may still be possible for a post mortem examination to be arranged in a local hospital.

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