What is a Forensic Autopsy?

A forensic autopsy is a primary tool used to find answers to the cause of a person's death. A series of tests, involving external and internal examination of the body, using surgical techniques and a set of medical standards, offers specialists an opportunity to determine the presence of an injury and/or to identify a disease that may have contributed to or caused a death. A forensic pathologist, a medical doctor specially trained to recognize patterns of injury, collect evidence and investigate the circumstances surrounding a death, performs an autopsy. Small samples of each organ are taken for microscopic examination. Other tests that may be performed include studying genes and checking for drugs, chemicals, or toxic substances.

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1. What is the role of the Coroner's Office?
2. What is a Forensic Autopsy?
3. When is an Autopsy performed?
4. How do families benefit from autopsies?
5. Is there a charge for an autopsy?
6. Does the Coroner need permission from the next-of-kin for an autopsy?
7. How long does it take for a death ruling to be made?
8. How can a Funeral Director be selected?
9. Are there religious conflicts?
10. Where may property of the deceased be located?
11. When will the autopsy report be completed?
12. How can the Coroner's records be obtained?
13. How do communities benefit from autopsies?
14. Will an autopsy affect funeral arrangements?