Last Updated on Feb 06, 2016

What are the Types of Post-mortem examination / Autopsy examination

Autopsies fall into three categories:

  • Medico-Legal Autopsy or Forensicorcoroner's autopsies
  • Anatomicaloracademic autopsies
  • Clinical or Pathological autopsies
Clinical or Pathological Autopsies

Medico-Legal Autopsy or Forensic or Coroner's autopsies are performed to identify the cause and manner of death and to identify the deceased. They are generally executed, as dictated by applicable law, in cases of violent, suspicious or sudden deaths, deaths without medical assistance or during surgical procedures. It is performed by a Police Surgeon

Clinical or Pathological autopsies are executed to diagnose a particular disease or for research purposes. They shed light into the pathological processes that lead to death of the person. Clinical autopsies are sometimes performed to assess the standard of care of hospitals. It is done by a pathologist.

Anatomicalor academic autopsies are performed by students of anatomy for study purpose. This is usually possible when a person has given permission in advance of their death.


  1. The Essentials of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. Dr. K. S. Narayan Reddy


srmcurology Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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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