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An autopsy is usually performed on the instructions of the Coroner to establish the cause of death. Occasionally an autopsy may be performed by agreement between the hospital and deceased's family for research purposes. A Coroner's autopsy will be arranged and paid for by the Coroner. The autopsy is performed by a pathologist who is a medical doctor specializing in this field; he or she will operate on the deceased, usually opening the cavities to examine organs and sometimes take tissues for analysis.

The family will be advised of the findings.

Please see our page on The Coroner for information in respect of this ancient office.