An autopsy, also known as a post-mortem, is the examination of a person who has died to determine the cause of sudden death. During a traditional post-mortem, the deceased’s body is opened and the organs removed for examination. Although this is always carried out with respect for the deceased, some relatives can find the process extremely distressing; for others it is contrary to their religious beliefs. However, there is an alternative.
Unlike a traditional autopsy, which involves dissecting the body, a Digital Autopsy potentially eliminates the need for the scalpel. Instead the process is carried out on a computer, in two stages:
First the body is scanned using a CT scanner, which takes less than ten minutes.
The data from the scan is then processed to create a detailed 3D whole body reconstruction of the body. Specially trained radiologists and pathologists can then examine the visual to look for clues as to the cause of death.
If a Coroner orders a post-mortem examination it MUST take place, and there is nothing a family can do to prevent it. However, you can chose the best type of post-mortem for you.