Guidance updated on handling of fetal tissues

NORTHFIELD - The College of American Pathologists has released a "Products of Conception Guidance Document" as a resource for pathologists on handling and reporting fetal tissue specimens.

It's important to note that this guidance addresses issues that pathologists may face but does not convey legal advice, said Dr. Emily E. Volk, president of the College of American Pathologists, based in Northfield. The law surrounding abortion is changing rapidly and the law varies from state to state.

"As such, it is critical that pathologists consult with legal counsel whenever they are uncertain as to the law on an abortion-related issue," she said.

The guidance addresses evidence-based best practices related to which fetal specimens are exempted from pathologic evaluation, which specimens can be evaluated by a pathologist, as well as other "products of conception"-related issues. In addition, the guidance addresses important reporting considerations related to fetal tissue specimens.

"The CAP's focus has been and always will be on providing the most accurate and complete diagnosis to patients," Volk said.

The College of American Pathologists is the world's largest organization of board-certified pathologists and leading provider of laboratory accreditation and proficiency testing programs.

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