Colorado law (CRS 30-10-606) provides the authority for the CORONER’S OFFICE to perform an autopsy as part of an investigation. We use the following guidelines:
1. If the autopsy is deemed unnecessary for the investigation, it will not be performed. By law, an autopsy cannot be performed by the Coroner's Office solely for "medical curiosity." If the family or Doctor would like a medical curiosity autopsy to be performed, it must be arranged by the family or by the doctor with the family's permission, and be done by the Pathologist of your choice. You should be aware that the financial responsibility falls upon the requesting party and an autopsy can be quite expensive.
2. If the Coroner's Office deems it necessary to perform an autopsy as part of the investigation, the law grants us the ability to take jurisdiction of the body to perform the autopsy. There is no charge for an autopsy conducted under these circumstances.
3. If you or your family should disagree with our decision to perform an autopsy in spite of the benefits and the questions it will answer, you must obtain a Court Order through your attorney to prevent the autopsy from taking place. All legal financial obligations incurred are your responsibility.