What do you call a person who picks up dead bodies?

HomepageAbout the MuseumOur historyPast exhibitionsDeath: the last tabooWho works at a morgue?Who works at a morgue?Updated22/11/18Read timeA minuteShare this page:Share on Faceboo

What do you call a person who picks up dead bodies?
  1. Homepage
  2. About the Museum
  3. Our history
  4. Past exhibitions
  5. Death: the last taboo
  6. Who works at a morgue?

Who works at a morgue?

  • Updated22/11/18
  • Read timeA minute

  • Share this page:
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Linkedin
  • Share via Email
  • Print this page


On this page... Toggle Table of Contents Nav

  • Who works at a morgue?

The coroner

The coroner is a special magistrate associated with local courts. A coroner is legally trained and doesn't need to have a medical qualification.

In Australia it is the responsibility of the coroner to investigate the circumstances, and determine the manner and cause of death for cases that have been reported to them.

In some cases an autopsy will be necessary to determine the cause of death and this is conducted at the morgue associated with the local court.

New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia all have state coroners, in Tasmania the Chief Magistrate is in effect the state coroner, and the Northern Territory has a territorial coroner. Queensland doesn't have a state coronial system at present, but it is currently under review.

In New South Wales there are four fulltime coroners: the State Coroner, a Senior Deputy State Coroner and two Deputy State Coroners.

Forensic pathologists

Forensic pathologists are specialist medical doctors who have had advanced training in human anatomy, pathology and performing autopsies on people who die of trauma or injury.

For the most part the forensic pathologists deals with deaths that are natural deaths where the death is sudden and unexpected, or the cause is unknown. It is their job to determine the medical cause of death, and sometimes determine manner of death. They also weigh and take samples of body tissue and organs and analyse them and then report back the results and findings of the tests to the coroner.

Only a small percentage of all pathologists are forensic pathologists.

In capital cities a forensic pathologist attached to a state department or institute of forensic medicine performs the autopsy. In country areas a pathologist at a hospital in a large regional centre may perform the autopsy.

Forensic technicians

Forensic technicians work in the mortuary of a department or Institute of forensic medicine. Forensic technicians assist the forensic pathologist to perform the autopsy, they prepare the body for examination. They drain the fluids from the body, they perform the first incision which typically is a 'Y' incision and take all the organs from the body.

You don't require formal qualifications to be a forensic technician, but there is a Mortuary Science course you can do that will help.


past exhibition death


Back to top of main content
Go back to top of page


Also in this section

'Burial Platform (Apsaroke)'
'Burial Platform (Apsaroke)'

Disposing of the dead - Exposure

Dead Tapir Head
Dead Tapir Head

Decomposition - Body Changes

Autopsy table
Autopsy table

Autopsies

Julie Sinuks, Forensic Technician
Julie Sinuks, Forensic Technician

Morgues and mortuaries

Old Sydney burial ground
Old Sydney burial ground

Burial - Early Sydney cemeteries

Two widows
Two widows

Mourning - Oro Province, Papua New Guinea

Day of the Dead in San Miguel de Allende
Day of the Dead in San Miguel de Allende

The Days of the Dead - Mexico

Monaural stethoscopes
Monaural stethoscopes

Stethoscopes

candle
candle

Signs of death

A celebration of Ralf's life
A celebration of Ralf's life

Preparation for death - Dorin Hart

Douglas Knox
Douglas Knox

The AIDS quilt

IT-1386, Collecting ashes
IT-1386, Collecting ashes

Burial, cremation or donation

You may also be interested in...

'Death' Exhibition
'Death' Exhibition

Death: the last taboo

Death is a process rather than an event. Learn more about the process and the many natural and human processes that occur after our death.What happens after death?
Disposing of the dead
AutopsyRead more


Western Desert Art

In August 1983, the Australian Museum purchased a collection of 94 paintings known as the 'Papunya Permanent Collection'.Discover more


Julie Sinuks, Forensic Technician
Julie Sinuks, Forensic Technician

Morgues and mortuaries

Morgues are places where reportable deaths are investigated by a coroner, while mortuaries are the places where dead bodies are stored temporarily for a range of reasons, including autopsies and preparations for burial such as embalming.Discover more


Research Library books
Research Library books

Library Guides for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Material

Discover our guides that help you research our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural material in the library.Glossary
Access conditions
Collecting history and contentFind out more


Same jukurrpa same country

Seven artworks by a new generation of Yuendumu artists are now on display at the Australian Museum  30 years after the museum held a world first: an exhibition by female Aboriginal artists.Read more


One Way Ticket to Hell 2012-2020
One Way Ticket to Hell 2012-2020

Learning from Aunty Fay Moseley about the Stolen Generations

Learn directly from the experiences of Stolen Generations survivors, such as Wiradjuri woman Aunty Fay Moseley who was taken to Cootamundra as a young girl.By Sara JudgeRead more


Necropolis
Necropolis

Who ends up in a morgue?

Of the 128 500 people who die in Australia every year, only 13.4% of deaths are referred on to the coroner's office and even fewer will require a coronial investigation and autopsy. Not all deaths need to be investigated. There are a variety of reasons why a death might be reported to the coroner.Discover more


Collection staff
Collection staff

1940s: The Australian Museum - Breaking Out

"Museum's are not morgues and should expand along modern lines." So commented J.R Kinghorn in the Women's WeeklyRead more


Inventory of Aboriginal Works of Art for the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum at Marton, Middlesborough, UK.AM PublicationRead more


Mountain tops covered in mist.
Mountain tops covered in mist.

Listening to Country

We are all connected to Country so it is important to understand how everything works and notice when patterns change.Read more


Mel Ward with Koala
Mel Ward with Koala

Cultural Material in the Library's Melbourne Ward Collection

Discover Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural material in the Melbourne Ward Collection of the Australian Museum Research Library.Discover more


Homes are sought for these children
Homes are sought for these children

Stolen Generations

Learn how the removal of Aboriginal children from their families under government policy has had irrevocable intergenerational impacts.Find out more


Video liên quan