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What is an autopsy?

An autopsy is a medical examination of a dead body to find out how and why the person died, what disease or injury might be present, and if a particular medical or surgical treatment was effective. The word itself comes from the ancient Greek word autopsia, meaning "to see with one's own eyes." Autopsies are done by a specialized doctor called a pathologist, who has been trained to diagnose diseases by examining body fluids and tissues.

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How does an autopsy affect organ donation?
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Having an autopsy doesn't always prevent organ donation. Although laws differ in each jurisdiction, ...
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Should I request that an autopsy be performed on my body?
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An autopsy is a medical procedure that consists of a thorough examination performed on a body after ...
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How does an autopsy affect having an open-casket funeral?
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Having an autopsy has no affect on an open-casket wake or funeral. Autopsy incisions are made so tha...
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How do legal autopsies differ from medical autopsies?
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Autopsies are performed for legal or medical purposes. A legal, or forensic, autopsy is performed wh...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.