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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
It said an investigation was launched after a graphic image of Sala's post-mortem examination was spotted circulating on social media, and this led to the CCTV company's offices being searched.
'It was not easy,' he said when asked how his team carried out the post-mortem examination on the 23 charred remains of the victims.
The pathologist distinguished between "physical trauma" and "emotional trauma", which he said could not be measured in a post-mortem examination.
"A post-mortem examination has taken place but further tests are needed to establish the cause of death."
Ms Stevens' lawyers said: "Had she been advised as to what the post-mortem examination of Nicola would or might entail, and that tissue samples and organs would or might be removed and retained, she would not have given permission for any such examination."
Bray is accused of operating the CCTV equipment to cause the post-mortem examination to be replayed on February 8.
The police took the bodies into their custody and sent them for post-mortem examination, which revealed that they had been tortured and strangled to death.
He said the post-mortem examination for the other victim was due to take place yesterday.
During the post-mortem examination, Dr Cary and his colleagues wore two white safety suits, protective gloves taped at the sleeves and specialised hoods, into which air was piped through a filter.
The result of a post-mortem examination on the nurse who apparently killed herself after being duped by two Australian DJ hoax callers will be released at the inquest into her death on Thursday, Scotland Yard has said.
THE pathologist who botched the post-mortem examination on newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson who died in the G20 riots was banned from working as a doctor yesterday.
A post-mortem examination showed Geraldine Allen, 56, died from multiple stab wounds while results are awaited on her mother, Maureen, 81, but they are expected to confirm a similar cause of death.