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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 ?
The AU program is a case-based continuing education program designed for pathologists who perform autopsies as part of their professional activities.
Unlike other studies that have described and analyzed characteristics that influence autopsies overall (19,20), ours describes demographic characteristics and clinicopathologic syndromes associated with autopsy of persons who died of unexplained infectious causes in the United States.
In addition, the regular performance of anatomical autopsies provides excellent opportunity for individual and institutional quality control and clinical audit.
Autopsies can create new knowledge regarding disease entities and may reveal additional links in the chain of causation, giving insight to fatal clinical courses and unexpected deaths.
Medical staff from Kagoshima University and Kumamoto University performed separate autopsies on the two bodies, believed to be crew members of the unidentified ship, which were found during an underwater search conducted from May 1 to Wednesday, coast guard officials said.
After Alder Hey, people are extremely nervous about requesting autopsies.
Often physicians exceed the parameters for consents to "limited" autopsies.
The court held that inmate's religious belief opposing autopsies outweighed the government's interest in protecting itself from lawsuit by the inmate's next of kin, and instead ordered an external examination of the inmate by a medical doctor prior to and after the execution, and permitted the taking of photographs and videotaping of the execution.
the 1960s), the percentage of autopsies on patients dying in our university teaching hospitals was about 50 percent--and the autopsy rate was an important factor used by accrediting bodies in rating the overall quality of medical care in hospitals.
The nationwide decrease in the quantity of autopsies being performed by local hospital-based general pathologists has placed an additional burden on medical examiners.
Initially they worked from external inspection, but by shortly after 1300 we find them performing autopsies on victims in order to look for hidden and internal causes of death, most commonly when poison was suspected.
Currently, although OPOs will use autopsy findings in case evaluation and the Uniform Anatomic Gift Act mandates release of any autopsy information to the OPOs, few OPOs require autopsies on potential donors.