An autopsy is essentially a surgical procedure that aids in the determination of how and why a person has died. Autopsies are generally done by pathologists who are medical doctors specializing in human diseases and injury mechanisms. Autopsies can be categorized into forensic autopsies, hospital autopsies, and private autopsies. A forensic pathologist is a medical doctor that is certified in general pathology, has special training in forensics including completing a forensic pathology fellowship and is board certified in forensic pathology. A forensic pathologist is the ideal professional to perform all three types of autopsies, but general pathologists can sometimes perform hospital and private autopsies. The autopsy is one key component when understanding how someone has died but not the only factor that should be investigated in a death. Other areas to take into consideration include medical records, scene of death examination, witness interviews, toxicology studies, and other specialized studies. The majority of autopsies performed are usually considered “complete” or a “full body examination”, but in some cases a partial autopsy might be performed with concentration on different body areas, body systems or specific diseased organs.

The Pathology Group, P.C.
Forensic Pathology Services in Grand Junction, CO