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The dissection of a dead body by a medical examiner or physician authorized by law to do so in order to determine the cause and time of a death that appears to have resulted from other than natural causes.

This postmortem examination, required by law, is ordered by the local Coroner when a person is suspected to have died by violent or unnatural means. The consent of the decedent's next of kin is not necessary for an authorized autopsy to be held. The medical findings must be presented at an inquest and might be used as evidence in a police investigation and a subsequent criminal prosecution.


Forensic Science.


References in periodicals archive ?
An inquest was told a post-mortem examination had failed to establish the cause of Brenda Leyland's death.
Later, Mohammad Abu Khdair's father, Hussain Abu Khdair, said he had been told a post-mortem examination was still taking place.
Gupta told media that the post-mortem report of Sunanda Pushkar was authentic.
London : A post-mortem carried out on the body of Russian oligarch and Kremlin critic Boris Berezovsky on Monday found the cause of death to be "consistent with hanging", British police said.
The woman was arrested the same night -- guarded in Famagusta hospital -- in relation to concealing a birth, later adding manslaughter to the investigations, following the post-mortem.
A post-mortem examination revealed she died as a result of stab wounds to her neck and chest.
The medic's actions were found to be misleading, dishonest and liable to bring his profession into disrepute over parts of his handling of the post-mortem on Mr Tomlinson.
He had already botched previous post-mortem examinations dating as far back as 2002 by the time Mr Tomlinson died in 2009.
Dr Palmer said that once the post-mortem is completed, Stuart Hazell, who has been charged with Tia's murder, has the right to request a second one by a pathologist of his choice.
The police, for their part, jumped the gun by not waiting for the post-mortem results and have yet to explain their bizarre behaviour.
A spokeswoman for Lancashire Constabulary said: "A post-mortem examination carried out on the 56-year-old victim has given her cause of death to be multiple stab wounds.
Paul Struthers, head of communications for the British Horseracing Authority, said: "We can confirm that we will not be in a position to announce the results of the post-mortem examinations today (Monday).