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RCOG statement on new post mortem consent package launched by Sands

News 21 January 2013

Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, has launched a new post mortem consent package developed to provide information and guidance about post mortems for health professionals seeking consent, and for bereaved parents whose baby has died before, during or shortly after birth.

The package has been developed over two years in consultation with the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) and includes a new post mortem consent form, a guide for consent takers, and a support booklet for parents.
Post mortem uptake rates have fallen over the years.

Dr David Richmond, RCOG Vice President (Clinical Quality) said:

“Previous reports by the Confidential Enquiries highlighted the need to encourage parents to consent to post-mortems after a stillbirth in order to understand why perinatal deaths occur.

“This new package provides much needed information and advice for both healthcare professionals and parents which will hopefully improve the rate of post mortems.

“It is an extremely difficult time for parents and they need skilled and highly trained professional support. For healthcare professionals, it can be a difficult subject to broach and they require appropriate support.

“Little is known about the causes of stillbirth and encouraging more parents to consider post-mortem will hopefully expand our knowledge in this area.”


For further information, please contact the RCOG Media and PR team on +44 20 7772 6300 or email

For more information about the Sands package please click here.