What is Autopsy?

Legal Definition
An autopsy—also known as a post-mortem examination, obduction, necropsy, or autopsia cadaverum —is a highly specialized surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse by dissection to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present. It is usually performed by a specialized medical doctor called a pathologist.

Autopsies are performed for either legal or medical purposes. For example, a forensic autopsy is carried out when the cause of death may be a criminal matter, while a clinical or academic autopsy is performed to find the medical cause of death and is used in cases of unknown or uncertain death, or for research purposes. Autopsies can be further classified into cases where external examination suffices, and those where the body is dissected and internal examination is conducted. Permission from next of kin may be required for internal autopsy in some cases. Once an internal autopsy is complete the body is reconstituted by sewing it back together.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
A medical examination of a corpse to determine disease, injury, and cause of death, especially in a criminal investigation. Also termed postmortem; postmortem examination; necropsy; obduction.
Legal Definition
The dissection of a dead body for the purpose of inquiring Into the cause of death. Pub. St. Mass. 1882, p. 1288. Sudduth v. Insurance Co.. (C. C.) 106 Fed. 823.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
The dissection of a corpse to ascertain the cause of death.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary