What is an autopsy?

An autopsy is a systematic examination of the body of a deceased person by a qualified pathologist. The body is examined for the presence of disease or injury, and specimens of the vital organs and/or body fluids may be taken for microscopic, chemical, or other testing. These tests are conducted following completion of the examination and do not delay the release of the body to the next of kin. Having an autopsy does not in any way interfere with viewing the body at the funeral. Buchanan County autopsies are performed by a forensic pathologist at the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s office in Kansas City, Missouri.

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1. Why is a body brought to the Medical Examiner’s Office?
2. What is an autopsy?
3. Can I prevent an autopsy from taking place?
4. Will acceptance of a case by the Medical Examiner’s Office mean that organ or tissue donation cannot take place?
5. When will the body be released from the Medical Examiner’s office?
6. Where will the personal property of the deceased by located?
7. What hours are you open?
8. Is there a charge for a Medical Examiner Autopsy?
9. How do I arrange to have the body released?
10. Where do I obtain a copy of the death certificate?
11. How can I get a copy of the autopsy report?
12. Is the Medical Examiner’s Office involved in Hospice death cases?