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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 ?
Cases given a structured diagnosis (SD), which indicates the primary necropsy finding by the examining pathologist.
The recently published Guidelines for Safe Work Practices in Human and Animal Medical Diagnostic Laboratories (8) provides a comprehensive approach to safe work practices in various human and animal diagnostic laboratory settings, including animal necropsy facilities.
To be effective in protecting bottle-nose dolphins, Wells says, we need to understand the threats they face, and the necropsy is a valuable source of information on cause of death.
Necropsy tissues are often not suited as specimens for conventional laboratory diagnosis of leptospirosis (9,6).
This study is a retrospective review of necropsy reports during a period of time when the NDGF did not have a veterinarian on staff.
Confirmation protocols include laboratory analysis, clinical and epidemiologic assessment, and verification by necropsy of case-patients who had pathologic features characteristic of leptospirosis in lungs, kidneys, and liver.
Specimens of Kemp's ridley and loggerhead sea turtles which died during captive rearing (1984 to 1996) were subjected to complete necropsy.
Over the 8-month period, an epidemic level of this disease, 51% (24/47), was identified in the dead or moribund toadfish submitted for necropsy.