There are many reasons why it is sometimes advantageous to perform an autopsy. An autopsy is a means of determining the Cause and Manner of death (see What Is An Autopsy?) based on physiological findings discovered through a medical examination. These findings help one to recreate the death of an individual when it isn't obvious exactly how the person died. This assists the police with their investigations in cases of a suspicious death, and can provide the court with factual evidence to support a prosecution. However, autopsy findings in suspicious death cases do not always assist with incriminating an individual; many times, the findings may be used to prove a suspect's innocence!
Forensic autopsies may assist the bereaved in building a criminal negligence or medical malpractice case. They also can be instrumental in clearing a doctor of suspicion.
In summary, performing a forensic autopsy when there is any suspicion or unknowns surrounding a person's death is of great benefit to society. Not only does a medical examination provide the public with truth as to how a person died, but it can also ensure that justice, whatever the manner, is done.