A partial autopsy is done usually in those situations when a specific body region or organ is known to be affected by a disease process and partial examination would be deemed enough in providing the necessary information that is sought by family or health officials. A good example of when a partial autopsy might be performed is when a person dies with a tumor in an organ such as the lung, and the family would like to know what the particular tumor represents. In this particular scenario, a pathologist may do an autopsy on only the chest organs and examine the lungs carefully in order to identify and diagnose possible cancers. Another possible situation when a partial autopsy might occur is when a family would prefer the brain not be examined. Therefore, the autopsy would include everything but the brain. It is important to note that partial procedures may give you partial answers and therefore if a partial autopsy is done, there is always that risk of missing key information in the parts of the autopsy that were not performed.