Autopsy / Post Mortem Service
Mortuary Technician Hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Mortuary Telephone: 84052019
A Post Mortem will not be performed unless the Post Mortem Request Form, death certificate and a clinical summary have been completed. These documents must accompany the patient history to the mortuary.
Consent for Autopsy
Northern Health Guidelines on requirements for consent to autopsy are available through Prompt. Please consult these guidelines to ensure appropriate processes are followed.
In summary: A post-mortem examination CANNOT be performed if:
a) the death is a reportable death to the Coroner. The Coroner must be notified via telephone ( 1300 309 519 all hours) of a reportable death and a deposition completed;
b) the medical practitioner has reason to believe that the deceased person had not expressed a wish for, or consented to, or had expressed an objection to, a post-mortem examination of his body;
c) the senior available next of kin refuses to consent to a post-mortem.
In case (b) / (c), only the Coroner can authorise a post-mortem.
Request for Post Mortem
Requests for Post Mortem examination are covered by the Victorian Human Tissue Act and require that appropriate consent be sought before any Post Mortem examination can be carried out in the hospital. The Act empowers a designated officer for a hospital to authorise Post Mortem examinations.
At the Northern Hospital the designated officer for the purpose of authorising a Post Mortem is an Anatomical Pathologist or the Director of Medical Services
Prior to authorising a Post Mortem examination the designated officer must be satisfied that either the senior available next of kin had agreed verbally to the Post Mortem examination or that the patient had consented to such an examination at admission to hospital. The designated officer will not authorise a Post Mortem examination if they have reason to believe that the deceased had at any time expressed an objection to a Post Mortem examination of their body.
The requirements of the Human Tissue Act 1982 will be satisfied if the “Non-Coronial Request for Post Mortem” form is completed by medical staff involved in the care of the deceased patient. These forms can be downloaded from the intranet through the deceased persons resource portal or via the link below.