Autopsies and the Coroner’s Office
Is an Autopsy necessary?
An autopsy is not necessary in every case.
- Each death investigated by the Mesa County Coroner’s Office undergoes review of the circumstances surrounding the death, medical record review and interviews of family members.
- Some of these deaths can be released directly to a funeral home without an autopsy especially in the deaths of individuals who have a significant medical history and there was nothing of concern to suggest a non-natural death at the scene of death.
- It is the Coroner and their office personnel who decide if an autopsy will be performed.
When is an autopsy required?
Coroner determines when an autopsy is required.
- It is important for the Coroner to bring their medical experience to each case along with all the findings when determining if an autopsy is required.
- An autopsy can be requested but it is ultimately the decision of the Coroner if an autopsy will be performed.
- Law enforcement
- District attorney’s office
- Family of the deceased.
- Most would consider it important to consider other people’s wishes when deciding on the autopsy.
- Autopsy is considered a public service performed by the Mesa County Coroner’s Office
- Results of the autopsy can not only be important to answer questions.
- For law enforcement officials and family.
- For public health data.
- Autopsies should be performed by
- Board certified forensic pathologists,
- Professionals who have undergone extensive training to do this task.
- If the Coroner’s Office decides against doing an autopsy,
- Family can request a “private autopsy” be performed by groups such as The Pathology Group, PC.