In the context of forensic autopsy examination. identification refer to the procedure of confirmation of identity of a known deceased. Identification of an unidentified dead body requires a completely different exercise.
Before dissection is started, the doctor must ensure the deceased to be examined is the right person, and the identity should be confirmed by a family member of sound health. In such cases, the doctor must record the date, time and particulars of the person identifying the body and include this information in the final report.
In instances where facial recognition is not possible, e.g.: crush injury to head, burn injuries, decomposition etc., other artifacts like clothing, ornaments or documents carried by victim at the time of death may be used for identification. Such cases can sometimes lead to erroneous results and proper care must be given to confirm the identity of the deceased. In case the doctor is not satisfied with the identification process, autopsy should not be started and the police must be informed.
Once identification has been confirmed, a tag (with code number) is tied around the deceased’s fingers or toes. Confidentiality should be maintained and the identity of the deceased should not be disclosed.