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Low autopsy rates are of continuing concern to pathologists. The aim of this study was to investigate the reasons why autopsy did not happen, and to determine whether carrying out the investigation and providing some feedback of the results would have any effect on autopsy rates. The main reasons why autopsy did not happen were that junior doctors considered it unnecessary because the diagnosis and cause of death appeared to be well established, and that patients' relatives declined to give permission for autopsy. No increase in autopsy rates was demonstrated, but possible avenues of approach were suggested and these are being implemented.