autopsy

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Related to Postmortem investigation: necropsy

Autopsy

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.

Cross-references

Forensic Science.

autopsy

see POSTMORTEM.
References in periodicals archive ?
Injury-related mortality in South Africa: A retrospective descriptive study of postmortem investigations.
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He added: "After almost 12 years we are not sure we will find evidence but a lot of progress has begun recently in this kind of medical postmortem investigation.
As well as documenting strandings, CSIP scientists also collect and carry out postmortem investigations on the carcasses.
Postmortem investigations of GBS are rare, but results may indicate underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms.