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Forensic Pathology is the central domain of forensic medicine. Pathology is concerned with natural deaths (due to illness, for example), whereas forensic medicine investigates unnatural deaths (due to external causes) and cases in which the manner of death could not be clarified by the postmortem examination.
The comprehensive medicolegal autopsy is formally regulated in the German Code of Criminal Procedure and, by precise description and photo documentation of findings, usually enables clarification of the manner and/or cause of death as well as the events leading to death.
If the autopsy fails to yield unequivocal results, further examination approaches are available: microscopic, chemotoxicological and molecular genetic methods. The analyses are ordered by public prosecutors and insurance companies as well as by private parties.