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    Does the law require that the medical examiner perform an autopsy for every death reported?

    No.  The law only requires that the medical examiner perform an “inquest,” or inquiry into a reportable death.  It is at the discretion and learned judgment of the medical examiner whether performance of an autopsy is warranted.  In about one-fifth of the cases investigated by the medical examiner’s office, an autopsy is deemed necessary.  In some cases, the medical examiner may perform a limited or partial autopsy, which is allowed under the laws governing the medical examiner’s office. 

    This page was last modified on April 21, 2016


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    100 E. Weatherford, Fort Worth, Texas 76196