The Autopsy Service maintains a collection of tissue for educational purposes. Included in the autopsy consent is a statement that allows tissue to be retained for educational purposes. Statement 2 on the Consent for Post-Mortem Examination states, “I agree to the removal, examination, and retention of organs, tissues, prosthetic devices, and fluids as the pathologist deems proper for diagnostic, education, quality improvement, and research purposes.” Unless the family chooses to restrict the retention of tissue or the intended purpose, interesting cases or individual specimens are saved and stored for teaching purposes. The tissue is predominately used by the Yale School of Medicine Medical Degree Program. Occasionally the tissue is used for other additional teaching programs.
The specimens are collected from autopsy and surgical pathology tissue ready for disposal. Tissue is not retained from autopsies that have restrictions that prohibit utilization for educational purposes. Once tissue is selected based on the needs of collection, the tissue is anonymized so as to protect the patient’s identity.
This collection allows students, residents, and staff to see the physical manifestation of disease in the tissue. Some of the specimens are diseases that are now easily prevented or treatable if identified early.
This collection is not open to the public. It is meant for internal use by the residents, staff, interns, and Yale School of Medicine.