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see post-mortem examinationpost-mortem examination
or autopsy,
systematic examination of a cadaver for study or for determining the cause of death. Post-mortems use many methodical procedures to determine the etiology and pathogenesis of diseases, for epidemologic purposes, for establishment of
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(section, obduction), the examination of a corpse in order to clarify the nature of the morbid changes and establish the cause of death.

Autopsies maybe either pathologicoanatomical or medicolegal; the first explores death from various diseases in a medical facility, while the latter refers to deaths that may be ascribed to violent or criminal action and that are ordered investigated by legal authorities. Autopsy plays an enormous role in instruction and refinement of the physician’s knowledge (as a check for the validity of diagnosis and treatment). Autopsies are also used as a basis for the exploration of problems in thanatology and resuscitation and the statistical indexes of mortality and lethality. Data from medicolegal autopsies have an important and sometimes decisive influence in court. Pathologicoanatomical autopsy is carried out by a pathological anatomist-physician (prosector) in specially equipped institutions attached to clinics or hospitals; medicolegal autopsies are performed by an expert in forensic medicine at the morgue. Autopsies are performed according to a prescribed method, and the findings are presented either in an autopsy report (for pathologicoanatomical autopsy) or a legal statement (for medicolegal autopsy).



A postmortem examination of the body to determine cause of death.


dissection and examination of a dead body to determine the cause of death
References in periodicals archive ?
The availability, training, and resources of investigators of unexplained natural deaths differ among institutions and jurisdictions and might account for differences in autopsy performance, testing capabilities, and reporting of autopsy data (12,36).
421) studied autopsy data collected from 1975 through 2007 to evaluate trends in silicosis among gold miners and ex-gold miners who were eligible for autopsy examination and family compensation after their death.
The authors pointed to autopsy data which has shown that about 37 per cent of women aged 40 to 54 "who died from causes other than breast cancer, had lesions of invasive or non-invasive cancer at autopsy".
The researchers examined autopsy data from subjects in an ongoing community-based study of brain aging and incident dementia.
In one study, published in the February edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver evaluated autopsy data from people who died between 1981 and 2004 from unnatural causes.
and colleagues at the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center in Chicago compared clinical and autopsy data on 141 participants who were part of an ongoing study of 1,200 elderly volunteers.