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ii AUTOPSY - NECROPSY DEFINED

 

Confused about correct terminology for when the body, corpse, or remains are examined to determine cause of death in a person or as relates to an animal?

 

Body or corpse is the term most often used for human remains... but "remains" is equally correct when referring to a dead animal. Terminology can in itself be a distressing factor when discussing death.

 

A "body" most often refers to the recently dead whereas a corpse may imply more time has passed. "Remains" is most often used when characterizing a body found after significant time has passed.

 

An autopsy is when a human doctor performs a postmortem (after death) examination on a human. Forensic autopsies are performed to determine cause of death IF there is any suspicion of foul play. Did the person die from natural causes (illness or age) or an accident or is homicide suspected?

 

A necropsy is the appropriate term used for an after-death evaluation performed on an animal. Necropsy is useful in determining whether cause of death was accident, acquired disease, medication or hereditary problem.

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