Families report that improving medical knowledge and facilitating research is a motivating factor for consenting to an autopsy.52 For this reason, patients and their family members may find meaning in authorizing an autopsy that includes collection of tumor tissue. Among families of individuals who underwent autopsy for medicolegal reasons, 96% authorized retention of tissue samples for research,53 suggesting that collection of tumor tissue for research purposes may be readily accepted by families who authorize an autopsy for other reasons. To our knowledge, only 1 study has examined the willingness of family members to authorize autopsy solely for the purpose of tumor harvesting; in that study, 40% of families were willing to consent to an autopsy for this reason.50
52 Rankin J, Wright C, Lind T. Cross sectional survey of parents' experience and views of the postmortem examination. BMJ. 2002;324: 816‐818.
53 Millar T, Walker R, Arango JC, et al. Tissue and organ donation for research in forensic pathology: the MRC Sudden Death Brain and Tissue Bank. J Pathol. 2007; 213: 369‐375.