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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 sensitivity of the algorithm varied depending on whether it was applied to dictated autopsy records, including all pathologic diagnoses, or to a truncated dataset containing records equivalent to that found on a death certificate (i.
Al-Haq has further learned that Israeli spokespersons are more likely than pathologists to misrepresent the findings of their own autopsies for political reasons, and that official autopsy records therefore could be a valuable source of information.
The autopsy records no trauma at all to the genitals or anus, although it notes the presence of hemorrhoids.
A review of limited autopsy records available from the Royal London Hospital reported twice as many deaths with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as a major finding from December 1952 through February, 1953 as corresponding months in other years (Hunt et al.