“Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succure vitae”– Giovanni Margagni
(This is the place where death delights to serve the living)
The autopsy is an external and internal examination
of the body after death using review of medical records, surgical techniques,
microscopy, and laboratory analysis. It is performed by a pathologist,
a medical doctor specially trained for the procedure who is able to recognize
the effects of disease on the body.
Special Autopsy Dissections
Introduction to Autopsy Technique, Step-by-Step Diagrams (2005)
Quality Management in Anatomic Pathology: Promoting Patient Safety Through Systems Improvement and Error Reduction (2005)
Autopsy Performance and Reporting, 2nd Edition
Cause of Death and the Death Certificate, 2006
Autopsy: Aiding the Living By Understanding Death
Additional forensics information is available on the Forensics Committee Topic Center page
Keys E, Brownlee C, Ruff M, Baxter C, Steele L, Green F. How well do we communicate autopsy findings to next of kin? Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2008;132:66-71.
Bove KE, Iery C. The role of the autopsy in medical malpractice cases, I. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2002;126(9):1023-1031.
Bove KE, Iery C. The role of the autopsy in medical malpractice cases, II. Arch
Pathol Lab Med. 2002;126(9):1032-1035.
Shojania KG, Burton EC, McDonald KM, Goldman L. Changes in rates of autopsy detected diagnostic errors over time. JAMA. 2003;289:2849-2856.
Internet Autopsy Database
The Virtual Autopsy
(University of Leicester)
Fetal Autopsy Resources autopsy.jarchie.com
(Greenwood Genetic Center)
Please note that you must be logged in as a CAP member to view the policy.
Criteria for Autopsies
Restrictions on the Uses of Autopsy Materials
Payment and Performance of the Autopsy Service
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Certification of Death
Observation of an Autopsy as Punishment
Informed Consent for Autopsy
Consent for Autopsy Organ and Tissue Retention
Definition of the Autopsy
A Valuable New Resource for Your Laboratory
Order your Autopsy and Forensic Anthology of Classic Pathology Images (AFA) CD-ROM today.
Call the CAP at 800-232-4040 or 847-832-7000 option 1.
AUCD-Autopsy Pathology (Category 1 Continuing Medical Education)
This meets the LAP checklist requirement for peer education.
To order the AUCD Program, call customer service at 800-323-4040 option 1#.
AUCD Case List,
(PDF, 98 K)
Sample AU cases:
Metaplastic Breast Carcinoma
Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (NAIT)
Post-Transplant Coronary Arteriopathy
Submit Your Potential Autopsy Cases to the CAP Autopsy Program
(PDF, 100 K)