Autopsy- Rules and Types

Autopsy- Rules and Types


Rules for medico-legal autopsy: 
  1. The body should be labeled as it arrives the mortuary.
  2. Conducted never in a private room, only in mortuary.
  3. However, autopsy is done at the site when advanced level of putrefaction, causing difficulty in transportation.
  4. Conducted only when official order from police or magistrate.
  5. Done without undue delay after receiving the order.
  6. M.O. should read the inquest report carefully to know the apparent cause and circumstance of the death.
  7. Conducted in day light as far as possible.
  8. The body must be identified by the police constable who accompanies it.
  9. In unidentififed bodies, marks of identification, photographs and finger prints should be taken.
  10. No unauthorized person should be present during autopsy.
  11. The investigating police officar may be present.
  12. The details are noted and sketches are made.
  13. Both positive and negative findings should be recorded.
  14. After autopsy, the body should be handed to the police constable.
  15. The PM report should not be handed to the party.

Types of Autopsy

  • Clinical/Pathological autopsy – consent of relatives needed
  • Medicolegal autopsy – consent of relatives not needed
  • Virtual autopsy Nirtopsy – a combination of CT & MRI
  • Psychological autopsy – A procedure for investigating a person’s death by reconstructing what the person thought, felt, and did before death, based on information gathered from personal documents, police reports, medical and coroner’s records, and face-to-face interviews with families, friends, and others who had contact with the person before the death – to assess the mental status of the person at the time of death
  • The PM examination should be conducted in daylight as far as possible because color changes such as
    jaundice, changes in bruise and changes in lividity cannot be appreciated accurately in artificial light

Obscure autopsy

  • Where a definite cause of death is not found
  • There may be minimal, indefinite or obscure findings

Negative autopsy

  • When the cause of death could not be found, even after gross and microscopic examination, toxicological analysis, histo-pathological examination and microbiological investigations

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