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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 ?
One body has been autopsied, he revealed without giving details.
A study in South Africa reviewed RTA-related autopsies over a 12-year period (1993-2004) and concluded that "RTA-related deaths in the Mthatha area are 3 times higher than the global average."8 In Manipal, India, a 16- year retrospective study from 1994 to 2009 concluded that RTAs comprised 38.6% of the autopsied cases and 37.8% unnatural deaths.9
For the 71 cases that were not autopsied, the reported death was due to natural causes (in some cases the natural CoD was specified, and in others not - cf.
The researchers autopsied 302 people who had died suddenly of heart attacks, auto accidents, or other misfortunes.
Although Taddeo was probably dissecting cadavers a decade before the postmortem of Azzolino in 1302, the first unambiguous account of such a dissection refers to 1316 and appears in the influential anatomy textbook of his student Mondino de' Liuzzi.(15) Certainly the two developments were closely related; thus, one of physicians who autopsied Azzolino's cadaver, Bartolomeo da Varignana, also taught medicine with Taddeo at Bologna.(16)
A team of forensic experts from the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) autopsied the body of Arjay Llantero to determine if the 13-year-old died of complications caused by the Dengvaxia vaccine.