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A medical practitioner who studies diseases of the body. Pathologists examine dead bodies to determine the cause of death for medical purposes or on the orders of a coroner so he can determine whether an inquest should be held. Forensic pathologists examine dead bodies in cases where the death may be suspicious and give the evidence of their findings to a court. In homicide cases it is now usual for the defendant to engage another pathologist to carry out another autopsy to obtain a second opinion. If nobody is charged in a homicide case the coroner may order a second autopsy by a different pathologist before the body is released for burial. In cases of suspicious death only the coroner can order an autopsy and the police must seek his authority before calling a pathologist to examine a body.

Subjects: Law.

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