(redirected from psychological autopsy)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.


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
..... Click the link for more information.



(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 psychological autopsy and determination of child suicides: A survey of medical examiners.
This enormous difference in the findings of autopsy studies between the West and East can only be explained by one or both of the following: 1) the psychological autopsy method is flawed and results cannot be accepted, or 2) the triggers for suicide are different between the East and West.
The prevalence of any psychiatric illness among suicide decedents varied based on the source of the data: psychological autopsy studies reported a 34% prevalence of mental disorders in suicide decedents, case series studies reported a prevalence of 24% and studies based on police records reported a prevalence ranging from 5 to 25%.
1994, Age differences in the personality characteristics of suicide completers : preliminary findings from a psychological autopsy study, Psychiatry, 57, 213-24.
The psychological autopsy is the best practice postmortem procedure to reconstruct the proximal and distal causes of an individual's death by suicide.
Gender and risk factors for suicide: evidence for heterogeneity in predisposing mechanisms in a psychological autopsy study.
Forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett's specialty is the psychological autopsy of a person's life to help determine whether death was accidental, natural or suspicious.
Psychosocial and psychiatric risk factors for suicide: Case-control psychological autopsy study.
Her speciality is the psychological autopsy, helping investigators determine whether equivocal deaths are accident, suicide, natural or homicide.
A psychological autopsy of the suicide of an academically gifted student: Researchers' and parents' perspectives.
A psychological autopsy was also administered to friends and relatives of 47 of Kevorkian's patients.

Full browser ?