FAQs about Post-mortem examination or Autopsy

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FAQs about Post-mortem examination or Autopsy

1. Who performs Post-mortem Examination or autopsy?

Usually a qualified Forensic medicine doctor performs Post-mortem Examination or autopsy.

2. What is exhumation?

It is the digging out of an already buried body from the grave. There is no time limit for exhumation in India.

3. What is forensic anthropology?

It is that branch of physical anthropology which deals with the identification of skeletal remains known to be or suspected of being human.

4. Will decomposed bodies be autopsied?

It is a fundamental rule of forensic pathology that all human remains should be examined, even when they are less likely to provide information.

5. Are visceral organs preserved in formaldehyde?

Not when poisoning is suspected to be the cause of death.

6. What is psychological autopsy?

Interviewing family members, friends, teachers, doctors, employers, etc. who had dealt with the deceased so as to gather information about the habits, character, personality traits, general life and method of death. This process is called psychological autopsy.

7. Is the dignity of human corpse protected by law?

Section 297, I.P.C states that whoever offers any indignity to any human corpse shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or both.

8. Should the family of the deceased pay for a medico legal autopsy?

No. Medico legal autopsies are performed free of cost.

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Did you know that Legionnaire's disease was discovered as a result of autopsy. In 1976 34 of the 221 delegates died when they attended an American Legion conference in Philadelphia. Food poisoning was ruled out and after this it became apparent that they had inhaled a bacterium Legionella on autopsies.

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