Our company only works with Board Certified Forensic Pathologist to do autopsies. Our other staff have extensive experience in Forensic Pathology and Criminal Justise as well as Crime Scene Investigation.
An autopsy is a surgical examination of the body, inside and out, performed to document injuries, diseases, and even normal conditions of the body. The procedure is performed by a medical doctor with special training in recognizing the appearance of injuries and the effects of diseases.
A standard forensic autopsy will take about 2 hours; however, the circumstances of the death may lengthen or shorten that time frame.
A private autopsy can answer many questions regarding a death, however it may not be possible to answer all questions. Please reach out to our office with your particular concerns so we can answer these specific questions.
No. In most cases, the funeral director can prepare the body for a viewing. The autopsy incisions, which are closed, can be appropriately covered. In some cases, it may not be possible to restore any post-mortem changes that occur naturally or if there were severe injuries that caused the death. The family should speak with their funeral director to make those decisions.
Each case is unique. If medical records are needed to review, a report will not be issued until they are all reviewed and researched. Depending on the quantity, this could take some time to complete. We ask our families to be patient as the doctor completes his report as he strives to be as thorough as possible.
Autopsies are usually performed and the Northeast Forensic Center in Dunmore Pennsylvania.
The next of kin may request in autopsy. In Pennsylvania, state law defines next of kin in the following order, assuming all are 18 years or older or emancipated minors.
State laws may vary on the order for next of kin.
The pathologist performing a private autopsy does not sign the death certificate. Instead, the attending physician who provided medical services prior to death is responsible for signing the death certificate. If this does not occur, the coroner or medical examiner signs the death certificate in cases under their jurisdiction.
The medical examiner/coroner is required to conduct an investigation and determine the manner and cause of death in cases of suicide, homicide, or accidental deaths. In addition, autopsies are required when a natural death is sudden, unexpected, suspicious or medically unattended.
A medical examiner is a licensed physician with specialized training in forensic pathology, while a coroner is an elected official who may or may not have medical qualifications.