BBC News – Baby post-mortem delays criticised

Thousands of parents are missing out on the chance to discover why their baby died during pregnancy or shortly after birth, say campaigners.

They say that although post-mortem examinations are usually offered, a combination of red tape and long waits mean that most parents say no.

The Royal College of Pathologists and charity Sands is calling for more government money to improve services.More than 6,500 UK babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth each year.

While some of these cases are explained, many are not and hospitals can offer post-mortem examinations.

Unlike a coroners post-mortem examination, parents have the right to refuse an examination.Sands, which offers support to families who have suffered a stillbirth, says that far too few examinations are being carried out.

In 9% of cases, according to official figures, a post-mortem examination is never offered and in total 61% of perinatal deaths do not lead to one.

Full article:  BBC News – Baby post-mortem delays criticised.

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