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Analysis Service

Forensic Medicine is a field of social medicine as a medicine respecting human rights. The Medical Examiner’s Office provides scientific evidence for resolution of violent crimes by performing postmortem inspection and autopsy on dead bodies and examining forensic medical evidence, finds criminals through the evidence, and contributes to the decision of a verdict as well as the sentencing.

  • Autopsy & Postmortem Inspection

    Scientific identification for the cause and type of death

  • Analysis on Forensic Images

    Analysis on forensic images using imaging medical devices such as CT, etc.

  • Forensic medical examinations on human-derived evidence

    Various forensic medical examinations using histopathology, microbiology, diagnostic genetics, and clinical chemical techniques

  • Forensic Dentistry & Forensic Anthropology

    Analysis on personal identification items to confirm identify and implementation of personal identification

  • Operation of Korea Disaster Mortuary Operational Team (KDMOT)

    Victim management and personal identification of domestic and international major death cases

Major Services Provided by the Medical Examiner’s Office

Currently, the Medical Examiner’s Office conducts forensic autopsy, forensic dentistry, and histopathology services. In recent years, in order to improve the accessibility of autopsy services, regional forensic branch offices have been established and in operation at Catholic University, Seoul National University and Korea University. To identify the cause of the death of a dead body with an unclear cause or a dead body associated with a criminal case, it conducts autopsy or postmortem inspection for the cases requested by investigative agencies or judicial institutions to determine the type and cause of death and notifies the result to the organization that requested the service.

01 Forensic Autopsy

The Forensic service support office provides comprehensive supervision for all tasks related to autopsy, forensic medical examination, and research to facilitate the services and also performs administrative tasks related to the entire Medical Examiner’s Office.

Forensic Medicine Research and Practice

  • To be responsible for the management of deaths of people is the basic obligation of the country. As the social structure becomes more complex and diverse, the demand for forensic autopsy increases. However, it has been difficult for people to claim their legitimate rights since forensic medical verification for deaths caused by industrial and non-industrial accidents, and work-related deaths is not carried out. The social expectation for the result of forensic medical research (autopsy) is very high, and forensic autopsy is a very important national duty since the evaluation result can be applied to sensitive legal relationships and interests among the parties in the relationships. The level of forensic medicine of a society represents the level of human rights of society. The scope of our forensic medicine service is not limited to the identification of the cause of death of individuals based on forensic medicine, but expands not only to operation of the Korea Disaster Mortuary Operational Team (KDMORT) in major disasters but also to contribution to national health statistics by building a database for forensic analysis results, and preparation of measures to prevent similar accidents by analyzing the type of crimes killing people.

Autopsy Management Service

  • The forensic service support office is a department leading forensic autopsy requested by police stations, prisons, detention centers, courts and prosecutors, which is at the forefront of the autopsy process. It also contributes to the identification of the cause of death by accurately collecting the samples required for forensic pathological analysis, poisonous drug analysis, narcotics analysis, chemical analysis, genetic analysis and plankton analysis. Our Medical Examiner’s Office, which has played a role as the best autopsy organization in South Korea, is making every effort to be able to leap into a future-oriented organization in line with the trend of change in the public officials’ society.
02 Histopathology Service

Histopathology services include histopathological analysis, research, and support for histopathological analysis. Histopathological analysis provides important information to identify the cause of death by examining the tissue of a dead person with a microscope based on pathological knowledge and diagnosing tissue change of the organ, pathological condition and disease. The pathological examination method is the same as that of biopsy performed in regular hospitals. However, unlike the hospitals, it mainly deals with the tissues related to a judicial autopsy. Therefore, there are many deaths by accidents caused by injury, electric shock, fire, gunshot wounds, drowning, suffocation, and drug poisoning. The histopathology office mainly performs pathologic tissue examination and improves the reliability of pathological examination by using conventional optical microscopy as well as transmission electron microscopy for precise examination, if necessary. The institute has obtained basic data for the body and organ of Koreans by experiencing many diseases and valuable forensic medical examples and performs systematic analysis on various diseases and research on physiopathological mechanisms.

Electric Shock Case

  • Electric mark on the skin showing wrinkles and charring around an oval depressed area
  • Optical miscopy finding for an electric mark in which vacuoles were formed, and the nucleus extended long


  • Optical miscopy finding for a kidney, showing multiple nodules formed in glomeruli.
  • Electron microscopy finding of a glomeruli indicating that the basement membrane is uniformly thickened

Death by Drowning

  • Plankton (diatoms) collected from organ tissues of a drowned body
03 Forensic Dental Services

The major service of forensic dentistry is forensic personal identification. Forensic dental personal identification is based on the age estimate of a dead body, dental profiling for an unidentified body, and personal identification through comparison between ante mortem and post mortem dental information. It also performs analysis on the bite mark remaining on the skin of a suspect or victim. Another major service is forensic anthropologic analysis on cremains or a dead body unidentified due to decay. Forensic anthropologic analysis enables to estimate the gender and height of a dead body and to identify the presence of trauma of the bones and the presence of disease. Forensic dental services basically focus on personal identification and play an important role in rapid personal identification in the case of large-scale disasters that cause many casualties at one time.

  • 3D analysis and measurement of tooth plaster model for bite mark analysis
  • Ante mortem dental information
  • Post mortem dental information
  • The age was estimated to be 8.5 years old by the forensic dentistry age estimation method, with the actual age being 8.4 years old
04 Reginal Forensic Branch Office

In order to mitigate the centralization of NFS autopsy services, increase accessibility by establishing reginal forensic branch offices near relevant authorities, and cultivate forensic manpower through cooperation with medical schools, the NFS established regional forensic branch offices in Catholic University Medical School, Korea University Medical School, and Seoul National University Medical School through an industry-university collaboration agreement. Korea University started its business on November 29, 2007 and officially opened on June 26, 2008. Catholic University opened on August 21, 2008, and Seoul National University opened on January 9, 2013.

Korea University

Catholic University

Seoul National University


Laboratory Equipment

Laboratory Equipment


Equipment for slicing frozen tissues so that they can be examined by a microscope. It is used to view fat cells, etc.

Laboratory Equipment

Auto Stainer

Equipment for dyeing sliced tissue specimens attached to slides

Laboratory Equipment

3D computerized modelling system

Equipment used to produce various models in the 3D virtual space. In the field of forensic examination, it is used for confirming an identity using the skull and producing a facial reconstruction model for individual identification. Using 3D image data of the face and skull photographed by PMCT, the elements constructing the face are reconstructed in the 3D virtual space through 3D image visualization analysis and morphometric analysis on the 3D computerized modelling system to make a face restoration model and perform identity verification.

Laboratory Equipment

Multi Detecter Computed Tomography

Prior to autopsy on a body, CT and angiogram are taken to acquire information about the injury site and the diagnosis of the cause of death and to preserve 3D image data.
Personal identification and 3D facial restoration of a partial body excavated in the event of a major disaster.
Protecting the dignity of bodies through precision and minimal incision and maximizing respect for bereaved families.

Laboratory Equipment


Panorama shooting of a crime scene (360°×180°) and shooting of a crime scene and management of various records using the comprehensive field investigation management program 360° Full HDR, Resolution (68.9 million pixels)

Laboratory Equipment

3D scanner

Used for 3D stereoscopic photography for a small indoor scene or a crime scene requiring emergency shooting.
Acquisition of 20 million color points per session, measurable time (2.5 hours), measurable distance (0.6~3.6m) and shooting angle (57°)

Laboratory Equipment

Ground Penetrating Radar

Equipment using electromagnetic waves for exploring the earth’s surface and is used for investigating excavation traces or underground utilities, buried bodies, etc.
It can distinguish 1cm to 50cm size objects present at a depth of 2cm to 10m.

Laboratory Equipment

Drone, S-900

Overall investigation of terrain where the scene of the incident is extensive or difficult to access.
6 propellers (hexacopter), maximum flight time: 18 minutes, camera installed and shoots at various angles

Major Analysis Cases

Major Analysis Cases

불임치료목적으로 복용한 반묘(cantharides)에
의한 사망사건

강원도 원주시 한의원에서 불임치료목적으로 지은 한약, 한약가루약(일명 반묘가루) 및 한약추출액을 혼합하여 마신 직후 환자가 사망하였으며, 감정결과 위 내용물 및 혈액에서 칸타리 딘(cantharidin)이 검출됨. 칸타리딘은 반묘의 주성분으로 치사량이 10mg이고 과량복용시 복통, 이질, 토혈, 혈뇨, 혈압 저하 등에 이어 사망한다고 알려져 있음