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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 ?
The second algorithm (algorithm 2) was developed on the basis of the full text of the pathologists' dictated autopsy records (i.e., full-text set), which included pathologic observations, pathologic diagnoses, and causes of death.
(35) Linkage between the medical examiner's autopsy records and administrative data are likely to yield a more complete view of the circumstances of death for population research.
It comes after a Bangladeshi High Court ordered authorities to exhume Hena Begum's body, and conduct another autopsy on her after a local autopsy recorded no injuries.
Of these, 84 autopsy records were obtained and compared with 84 postmortem reports from the general population that were matched for age, sex, and date of autopsy.
This powerful drama uses case notes, ward reports, autopsy records and intimate diaries to bring actual doctors, nurses and patients from The Royal London Hospital vividly back to life.
The autopsy records of 96% of the residents aged 16-64 years who died from nonnatural causes between 1981 and 2005 were reviewed.
But according to the court clerk, at press time the case was being delayed because Hayne wouldn't turn his autopsy records over to Havard's defense team for review.
The BBC One show will use real-life case notes, autopsy records and diaries to bring the era back to life.