What is a post-mortem or autopsy?
(These are the same procedure with two different names).
Unlike many funeral directors who feel this should not be discussed with families, I feel honesty and openness is crucial. I have often met families who have been told by officers attending that “some tests will be done” and then the family are shocked at the invasive nature of the procedure when they view the deceased. An incision is made from the top of the chest to the bottom of their chest enabling pathology staff to remove all organs, examine them or perhaps send some sections for further analysis. There is another incision made at the back of the head from one ear to the other so that the brain may be removed and examined. It should be noted that the organs are returned to the body before suturing these incisions. It is from this examination that the pathologist is generally able to produce a preliminary finding to the family as to the cause of death. In some cases, the Coroner may rule that an inquest is to be held; this can be up to a couple of months after the death.