The external examination system of determining the cause of death as operated in Dundee, Scotland is controversial. The addition of a blood or urine specimen for drugs and alcohol processed by hospital autoanalysers will reduce error in death certification. This is even more convenient to organise with a shorter turn-around time than imaging by computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These measures may reduce the autopsy rate and ameliorate the distress of families of the deceased.
Key words: Autopsy, alcohol, death.
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