Skip to main content


Find out what a post-mortem is, when a post-mortem takes place and who to contact.

A post-mortem is the examination of a body, carried out by a pathologist, to find the cause of death.

The Coroner decides whether or not a post-mortem examination is needed. He is not required to obtain consent from the family, but he will give you a reason for his decision.

The pathologist will send a post-mortem report to the Coroner with details of the examination as well as any tissues/organs retained and any tests for drug and alcohol levels.

The Human Tissue Authority gives more information about what happens at a post-mortem and the choices relating to organs and body tissue.

The full report may sometimes be unavailable for some time, depending on the complexity of the tests.

In many cases, following the post-mortem or other investigations, the Coroner will authorise the registration of the death. Once authorisation has been given you'll be asked to contact the Bury St Edmunds register office, who coordinates Coroner's cases for all the register officers in Suffolk. 

They will make an appointment for you at the register office of your choice, and arrange for the authorisation paperwork to be sent to that office.

You can request a post-mortem report or a case file after an inquest or investigation from Suffolk Coroner Service.