Autopsies provide useful information about how, when and why a loved one died, and they enable pathologists to obtain a better understanding of how diseases spread. Learning more about illnesses and medical conditions benefits other patients too, because it means they will receive more effective treatment in the future.
MO Funerals directors are always willing to offer you support and advice required for this service.
When are autopsies required?
When the death occurs due to natural causes it may be appropriate to carry out an autopsy if the doctor or family wish to find out more about the cause of death. The next of kin will be required to give permission for this medical examination to be carried out.
An autopsy examination is carried out if it’s been requested by:
- a coroner – because the cause of death is unknown, or following a sudden, violent or unexpected death.
- the deceased’s family – if a family wishes to find out more about the cause of death of their loved one.
When is an Autopsy necessary?
If someone dies, and they have no history of an illness or haven’t been attended by a doctor, an autopsy will be required to determine the exact cause of death.
In cases where a person dies, and the reason is unclear, a doctor will not sign a ‘Death Notification Form’. This makes it impossible to obtain a Death Certificate and proceed with a funeral; therefore a Coroner will order a Postmortem in order to ascertain the cause of death.
What happens after the Autopsy?
After the autopsy, the pathologist will provide a provisional report which is only for the use of the coroner. This report gives an opinion on the cause of death and will indicate if the pathologist has kept any body tissue samples for testing, what the samples are and if the testing will destroy the samples.
The pathologist will then send the coroner a final report. It can take several days or longer depending upon the complexity of the autopsy examination, including any tests of the tissue samples.
MO Funerals Director or representative will gently pass this information to you and your family. You can ask for a copy of the final report.
However, you might not be able to have a copy if it’s part of an ongoing police investigation.
Feel free to contact us for more on autopsies.