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Anatomic Pathology
Autopsy Pathology

An autopsy is a postmortem examination of the deceased body performed by a physician. Its purpose is to learn about the person's health during life, and to determine the cause of death. In a hospital autopsy, often the cause of death is known and the purpose of the autopsy is to determine the extent of the disease, the effects of therapy, and the presence of any undiagnosed disease. 

In Ontario certain autopsy cases that fall under the jurisdiction of the coroner.  Examples include sudden or unexpected deaths, deaths occurring to those in custody or deaths from violence.  These are called medico-legal or forensic autopsies. The Autopsy Pathology Laboratory at Kingston General Hospital performs both hospital autopsies and medico-legal autopsies. 

For further information on the autopsy service, please contact Dr. Jeffrey Tanguay .

Posted 2015 Sept 22: Resuscitating the Autopsy: Why our current 7% rate of non-forensic autopsies is unacceptable (and a suggestion for a remedy) By David Hurlbut – presented at Dept. of Medicine Morbidity and Mortality Rounds

Page Last Updated: 2019 August 22