Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic


  • Diana Bulgaru Iliescu
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_63

Autopsy (also known as necropsy or post mortem examination) is a surgical procedure that consists of the examination of tissues and organs of a corpse to determine the cause and the manner of death. Having in view the medical and judiciary purpose and relevance of this procedure, a distinction between pathology autopsy and forensic autopsy must be made. Pathology autopsy is directly conditioned by the deceased’s consent expressed during her/his life or by her/his family’s consent. Consent is not required for autopsy in some countries, but families may object to non-forensic autopsies. Survivors may also sue for damages based on their mental anguish for autopsies that were performed without legal approval or that were more extensive than authorized.

Forensic autopsy is carried out when legal authorities explicitly ask for it in the limited situations indicated by the criminal law (violent death, death of unknown causes, suspicious/sudden death). Forensic autopsy is undoubtedly a social...

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Suggested Readings

  1. Jones, D. G. (1995). The human corpse: An assessment of the value we place on the dead body. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, 47, 43–51.Google Scholar
  2. Mimms, C. (2006). The encyclopedia of death. Bucharest: Orizonturi Publishing House.Google Scholar
  3. Varghese, S. P. (2005). Cadavers for anatomical dissection. Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 2(1), 16–23.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana Bulgaru Iliescu
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Legal Medicine IasiIasiRomania