Originally Posted by Joshua Rogan
He may well have been... But if so, wouldn't Phillips have been hampering the investigation by witholding the information he discovered? He really didn't want to tell the coroner anything beyond the immediate cause of death; if he didn't tell the police either, what was the point of performing an autopsy?
The autopsy is conducted at the request/order of the coroner, not the police.
It's a process; on discovery of a suspicious death the coroner is informed, it is the coroner who decides if an autopsy is required to enable him to meet certain requirements of a public inquest. The police generally take advantage of information resulting from the inquest, but they can continue their inquiries without an inquest or an autopsy.
There is a quotation by Simon where we read Macdonald met privately with Dr. Phillips (I was looking for a statement along those lines). It has long been my suspicion that Macdonald knew what Dr Phillips had determined which is why he cut the inquest short.