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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 ?
This interesting case represents an important diagnostic challenge for the clinician and even for the veterinary pathologist where the necropsy and sampling is key to the diagnosis.
The positive samples were tested by ELISA and transported on ice to Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan for clinical and necropsy examination.
The Eg AgB8/1 antigen showed positive reactivity with 10/15 necropsy positive animals with [OD.sub.492] ranging between 0.22-1.18 above the cut-off value 0.22.
Necropsy findings: All of the necropsied sheep had numerous skin lesions included erythematous macules and papules, measured 2 to 4 mm in diameter, which may become larger and nodular with typical demarcation.
Necropsy revealed a large, friable, and multilobulated mass with irregular, yellowish coloration, and circumscribed hemorrhagic areas, located cranially to the right kidney in the abdominal cavity.
Within six hours after death, the animal was preserved in 4% formalin until necropsy and histological examination were performed.
Branches of the CAHFS laboratory in Davis, Turlock, Tulare and San Bernardino conduct the necropsy service, which is available to owners of fewer than 1,000 birds (chickens, turkeys, game birds and waterfowl).
At necropsy the predominant findings were enteritis followed by heavy lungs and bronchopneumonia.
On January 29, a necropsy of the porpoise was performed in a small room at university A by a faculty member, two students, and a community volunteer.
Marine Biologists have conducted a necropsy to find out the cause of death and have identified the animal as a youngster.
Whereas, the doctors said that the real story would be revealed after necropsy reports of the deceased.