Autopsies are performed when an additional investigation is needed to establish the cause and manner of death. Autopsies are ALWAYS performed in suspected homicides. Staff pathologists or specialized forensic pathologists are used for autopsies. Each case is unique and handled respectfully on an individual basis. Family consent is not required for an autopsy to be performed. It is the authority of the coroner, in consultation with the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office, to order an autopsy.