Autopsy Records, 1925-1959

Forbus, Wiley Davis
Scope and content:

Series is organized by autopsy number with significant gaps. Instances where a single autopsy case number has records with correspondence, reports, and statistics are rare. The statistics files are incomplete; however, they are informative. The gaps in this series should not obscure the importance of autopsy. Evidence exists throughout the collection to suggest that the Pathology department was centered around autopsy. Autopsy was the basis for determining not just the disease processes but, also, the life history of the sick individual and was therefore the chief means of educating residents and integral to the teaching of year two medical students. Diagnosis for patients throughout the healthcare system ran through the pathology lab and understood through the reports it generated. Additionally, research was "stimulated by observations at autopsy." Surgical pathological cases were relegated to the Restricted Series when necessary under HIPAA guidelines. Graphic images and content are noted on folder tabs when possible. Practices relating to Segregation are evident. Materials date from 1925 to 1959.


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This collection contains materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals or IRB approval may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which Duke University assumes no responsibility. Records that have been processed may be consulted with the permission of the Medical Center Archivist.
Materials in box 31 are restricted and can only be accessed with the permission of the Medical Center Archivist.

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