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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 ?
Image-guided virtual autopsy findings of gunshot victims performed with multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and subsequent correlation between radiology and autopsy findings.
There she has learned the art of 'virtual autopsy', a groundbreaking procedure which could revolutionise forensic science.
There are some forensic applications where you can project the body in the middle of the room, and wearing these glasses or headsets you can view a virtual autopsy. Somebody goes through and peels back layers of the physiology or the anatomy, and there is a narration associated with it.
This case shows how minimally invasive CTA, as a part of a virtual autopsy, can complement a classic autopsy or even replace it if necessary (eg, because of external limitations, such as refusal of autopsy for cultural or religious reasons).
However, a virtopsy (virtual autopsy) is a minimally invasive alternative that can produce an efficient autopsy.

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