The Word of the Day: Autopsy

by MSO

The word Autopsy means "see for yourself".

An autopsy is a medical procedure carried out on the body to determine the cause or manner of death, and to evaluate any disease or injury that the body may have had. It is usually performed by a specialized medical doctor called a pathologist.

The English word ‘autopsy’ comes from the Ancient Greek word ‘autopsia’, meaning ‘to see for oneself’. It is believed that the first autopsies were carried out sometime around 3000 BC, although most cultures at the time believed that disfiguring the bodies would prevent them from entering the afterlife. This is why the Ancient Egyptians would remove the person’s organs through tiny slits in the body, rather than fully opening them up.

The law requires autopsies in certain situations, such as when the cause of death is thought to involve foul play. Several religions, such as Judaism and Islam discourage autopsies unless absolutely necessary, in part because the deceased in these faiths are supposed to be buried as soon as possible, preferably that day.

For the entire autopsy process, please see this website

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