Consent is required for autopsy, but not for photographs, x-rays, clinical examination or placental evaluation, which are considered part of the mother’s clinical care. We have provided a sample autopsy consent form (specific for Wisconsin only with respect to relevant state statute). This can be replaced by the birthing hospitals consent for autopsy form if one exists.
Although we recommend inclusion of all segments of the protocol for all stillbirth evaluations, some families do not wish to consent to completion of an internal postmortem examination. Even without autopsy, many diagnoses will be made through completion of the other segments of the protocol. All of these (i.e. clinical examination, radiographs, photographs and sampling for chromosome testing) can be completed even if an internal autopsy is not wanted by the parents. The Marshfield Clinic IRB has granted a waiver of consent for participation in the WiSSP database. Regardless of the decision about autopsy, we do request that the parent letter be shared with the family.