Autopsy

The process of identifying and explaining the reasons behind a death occurring in a suspicious manner is called autopsy or post-mortem. The oldest case of autopsy is recorded before 2000 years in China. Poor health conditions and injury reports about the deceased may be uncovered through autopsy performed by expert doctors. The post-mortem is often done to verify medicinal or criminal causes of death and revealing negligence of hospital staff, through detailed analysis of the deceased person. Forensic autopsy is performed to verify medicinal and legal aspects of death and is compulsorily conducted for mysterious deaths. The nature of death can be classified into unidentified causes, natural, homicidal, accidents or suicides after medical examination.

Clinical autopsy is used to investigate medically and help identify reasons behind the death. Written directions from the family are essential for clinical post-mortems. Coroner’s autopsy helps to conclude the modus operandi of death. During autopsy, the corpse is laid on the dissection table and carefully checked for any possible indications about the manner of death. Collected evidences are sealed in a separate bag. After undressing the body, careful inspection about the body’s condition is recorded and finally doctors cut the corpse in Y and T-shapes to examine the maximum area of the lifeless person. After completing post-mortem, doctors take tissue samples for further chemical analysis, stitch the corpse and hand it over to relatives. The surgeon prepares the final report and hands it over to legal authorities.

A factor of considerable importance to the investigations is the period at which the death occurred. This might be ascertained with physical samples like food contents in the abdomen, temperature, blood, etc. being examined chemically. Inspecting the site of death often provides valuable information about the conditions and motive behind the death. For a physician conducting autopsy, it becomes routine to investigate such cases. If he gets emotionally involved, he is liable to face trauma. Autopsy is not a delicate procedure whereby a life could be saved but something that is completed at the earliest. Tight funds constrain doctors who use low-cost tools to conduct investigations.

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