A post-mortem examination may be requested by the Coroner, the Minister for Health, a hospital or the family of a deceased person. Part 4 of the Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1983 outlines the legislative requirements related to the authorisation of post-mortem examinations.
Hospital post-mortem examinations
The majority of hospital post-mortems are undertaken by SA Pathology Anatomical Pathology Departments at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (adults) and the Women's and Children's Hospital (children and babies). The legislation requires that hospitals carrying out post-mortems must obtain consent from the senior available next of kin and confirm that the deceased had not, during his or her lifetime, expressed an objection to a post-mortem examination of his or her body. A Designated Officer must then authorise the post-mortem in writing confirming that the relevant conditions have been met. (A Designated Officer is an independent medical practitioner appointed in writing under the Act by the Minister, whose purpose is to represent the intentions and interest of the deceased person and their family throughout the post-mortem process).
Suitable documents to enable this have been redeveloped by a small working group across SA Health. These forms are available on the SA Health intranet (for SA Health staff) or from the contacts below, and include:
the request, consent and authority form (MR82F)
guidelines for completion of the MR82F form
Authorised SA Health staff can order these forms (along with the guidelines and family booklet) as a printed pack through Oracle by searching for the form number "MR82F".
For non-SA Health access to these forms or for further information, please contact SA Pathology at:
Royal Adelaide Hospital, Anatomical Pathology: (08) 7074 0104 or (08) 7074 1305
Women's and Children's Hospital: (08) 8161 6101 or (08) 8161 6315
A family booklet has been redeveloped to provide relevant information to the senior available next of kin about post-mortem examination practices and procedures. This booklet is available in two sizes
In rare cases, the Minister can consent to a post-mortem examination in order to identify or deal with any risk (actual or perceived) to the health of the public. Before this occurs, the Minister will contact the senior available next of kin to discuss the matter.
You can search through to find related information.
How to stay healthy in the heat
Everyone is at risk of heat-related illness during hot weather and heatwaves.
Use of the information and data contained within this site or these pages is at your sole risk.
If you rely on the information on this site you are responsible for ensuring by independent verification its accuracy, currency or completeness.
This site includes links to other websites operated by community, business and government.
These linked websites will have their own terms and conditions of use and you should familiarise yourself with these.
All linked websites are linked 'as is' and the Government of South Australia:
does not sponsor, endorse or necessarily approve of any material on websites linked from or to this Site;
does not make any warranties or representations regarding the quality, accuracy, merchantability or fitness for purpose of any material on websites linked from or to this Site;
does not make any warranties or representations that material on other websites to which this site is linked does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any person anywhere in the world; and
does not authorise the infringement of any intellectual property rights contained in material in other websites by linking this site to those other websites.
If you use automatic language translation services in connection with this site you do so at your own risk.
The information and data on this site is subject to change without notice. The Government of South Australia may revise this disclaimer at any time by updating this posting.
The Government of South Australia, its agents, instrumentalities, officers and employees:
make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy of the information and data contained on this site
make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy or usefulness of any translation of the information on this site or any linked website into another language
make no representations as to the availability of the site and the availability of websites linked from or to the site
accept no liability however arising for any loss resulting from the use of the site and any information and data or reliance placed on it (including translated information and data)
make no representations, either expressed or implied, as to the suitability of the said information and data for any particular purpose
accepts no liability for any interference with or damage to a user's computer, software or data occurring in connection with or relating to this Site or its use or any website linked to this site
do not represent or warrant that applications or payments initiated through this site will in fact be received or made to the intended recipient. Users are advised to confirm the application or payment by other means.