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Title

Molecular autopsy in sudden cardiac death and its implication for families: discussion of the practical, legal and ethical aspects of the multidisciplinary collaboration

Authors
Michaud, Katarzyna
Fellmann, Florence
Abriel, Hugues
Beckmann, Jacques S.
Published in Schweizerische medizinische Wochenschrift. 2009, vol. 139, no. 49-50, p. 712-718
Abstract Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a major cause of premature death in young adults and children in developed countries. Standard forensic autopsy procedures are often unsuccessful in determining the cause of SCD. Post-mortem genetic testing, also called molecular autopsy, has revealed that a non-negligible number of these deaths are a result of inherited cardiac diseases, including arrhythmic disorders such as congenital long QT syndrome and Brugada syndrome. Due to the heritability of these diseases, the potential implications for living relatives must be taken into consideration. Advanced diagnostic analyses, genetic counselling, and interdisciplinary collaboration should be integral parts of clinical and forensic practice. In this article we present a multidisciplinary collaboration established in Lausanne, with the goal of properly informing families of these pathologies and their implications for surviving family members. In Switzerland, as in many other countries, legal guidelines for genetic testing do not address the use of molecular tools for post-mortem genetic analyses in forensic practice. In this article we present the standard practice guidelines established by our multidisciplinary team.
Keywords Arrhythmias, Cardiac/complications/geneticsAutopsyCause of DeathDeath, Sudden, Cardiac/*etiology/pathology*Forensic Pathology/ethics/legislation & jurisprudence/methodsGenetic Counseling/ethics/legislation & jurisprudenceGenetic Diseases, Inborn/complications/geneticsGenetic Predisposition to DiseaseGenetic Testing/ethics/legislation & jurisprudenceHumans*Interdisciplinary CommunicationMolecular Diagnostic Techniques/ethicsPathology, Molecular/ethics/legislation & jurisprudencePractice Guidelines as Topic
Identifiers
PMID: 20047134
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Article - public document Free access
Structures
Research groups Le Secret médical (676)
Groupe Mangin Patrice (médecine légale) (862)
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MICHAUD, Katarzyna et al. Molecular autopsy in sudden cardiac death and its implication for families: discussion of the practical, legal and ethical aspects of the multidisciplinary collaboration. In: Schweizerische medizinische Wochenschrift, 2009, vol. 139, n° 49-50, p. 712-718. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:19562

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Deposited on : 2012-04-23

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