Forensic pathology
Forensic autopsy report
Preliminary investigation

Author: Terrill L. Tops, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 11 January 2017, last major update January 2013

Copyright: (c) 2003-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed search: forensic pathology preliminary investigation

Table of Contents
Definition / general
Cite this page: Preliminary investigation. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/forensicsautopsyprelim.html. Accessed June 29th, 2017.
Definition / general
  • Circumstances of death need to be reported by the Forensic pathologist (FP) based on information provided by law enforcement personnel who are familiar with the death scene
  • Depending on the case, the FP can obtain crucial information at the death scene or by a phone call to law enforcement investigators
  • Asking specific questions related to the case will help provide clues to Cause / Manner of Death (COD / MOD)
  • Specific questions related to the decedent's past (medical history, recent surgeries, state of mental health, drug / alcohol abuse, etc.) may reduce the need to perform a complete autopsy when only toxicology analysis is required to determine COD / MOD