Historical, ethical and legal aspects of autopsy. Experience of Ukraine and other countries

October 27, 2017

The autopsy of a deceased person in order to establish the causes of death through pathoanatomical research is a serious ethical and legal problem in Ukraine and other European countries. We reviewed the current situation in Ukraine in conducting autopsies, also their ethical, moral and legal components. The importance of autopsy as a method of research on the reliable establishment of the underlying disease and the immediate cause of death was analyzed. Autopsy has not only significant medical, statistical, scientific and practical significance, but also social. Particular attention is paid to the historical experience of the European countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, etc.). Modern European views and laws regulating autopsy, organ and tissue transplantation were analyzed. Moral and ethical problems that arise with the relatives of the deceased, the treating doctor and the pathologist were considered. The latest techniques for conducting virtual autopsies were researched, their possibilities and limitations were defined. The main directions of improving the ethical-legal and social components of autopsies were proposed. The need to humanize the attitude towards autopsy through educational work among doctors and the population, the search for innovative minimally invasive approaches for determining the causes of death of a person was determined.

Key words: autopsy, human rights, social concept, religion, humanization, personal autonomy, untouchability.