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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 ?
Finland conducted a national psychological autopsy study of all 1,397 suicides in the country, under the project "Suicide in Finland 1987," a five-year project that ended in data-based recommendations for suicide prevention.
Differences between children and adolescents who commit suicide and their peers: A psychological autopsy of suicide victims compared to accident victims and a community sample.
Adverse life events proximal to adult suicide: a synthesis of findings from psychological autopsy studies.
Completed Suicide with Violent and Non-Violent Methods in Rural Sandong, China: A Psychological Autopsy Study.
Psychological autopsy methodology has not been standardized (29) which means that study should not be compared to another.
In a psychological autopsy of suicides, 55% were unemployed and a further 40% were semiskilled workers.
A so-called psychological autopsy exercise is recommended, in which you can emphasize the learning experience and focus on improvements' that can help formulate policy reforms for providing better care.
"It's also been suggested given the rarer incidences of these cases they would merit a much deeper analysis, what some academics have called psychological autopsy. The true incidence of mental illness as a contributory factor in these cases could be helped by a detailed review of each case."
Edwin Schneidman, the father of modern suicidology and the cofounder of the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center, coined the term "psychological autopsy" to mean a rigorous investigation of all the antecedents to a suicide.
He was addressing the participants of workshop on "Psychological Autopsy" organized by the Department of Psychology of the university.

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