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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 ?
[8,9] Despite this report ironically seeming to provide further evidence of the FCA's having effected a decrease, the low number of firearm assaults and overall assault-related deaths is incongruous with other recently released data including police crime statistics, [10] a recent survey of injury mortality from postmortem investigations [11] and data provided by the National Department of Health (NDoH) in response to a question in the National Assembly.
TRAUMA Vicky made grim discovery REMOVAL Bodies are taken from house for a postmortem INVESTIGATION Garda outside house in Gurteen, Co Sligo last night LOYAL Dog in the garden of family home HAVING FUN Harry plays with one of his toys FATHER AND SON Trevor with Harry CLOSE BOND Susan and Kim HAPPY TIMES Trevor and Susan Wallwork
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.