A petition calling for Birmingham's coroner to get a CT scanner to carry out digital autopsies will be debated by city councillors next week.
More than ten thousand Brummies had last year signed a petition calling for the scanner to be installed in the city. They have now been backed by the city coroner.
The high-tech digital scanner can produce three-dimensional digital images of the body and remove the need for invasive post mortems using a scalpel. Bodies are also released to relatives quickly.
In 2016 the Birmingham and Solihull coroner ordered 1,685 post-mortem examinations, rising to about 1,750 last year.
Both the Jewish and Muslim community prefer that a scan is used because they regard the sanctity of the body after death as important. Others want them because they do not like the idea of a loved one being cut open.
But the scanner would cost about £1 million to install and require ongoing staff and maintenance costs. But there would be a reduction in costs of traditional post mortems and storage of bodies.
Currently the only alternative options available are a scanner run by the Black Country Coroner, which costs £500 plus VAT and transport costs to use, or a scanner in Oxford. Birmingham's coroner used an out of town scanner only eight times last year.
The backbench Housing and Neighbourhoods committee, which meets on Tuesday, is to discuss the issue, quiz council bereavement service bosses and decide whether it should be brought to full council for a debate and vote.
A report to the committee says that the council has been in talks with both private company Igene, which runs the scanner in Sandwell, and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital about a scanner service.
It states: "The senior coroner (Louise Hunt) has expressed her view that a CTPM (Computed Tomography Post Mortem) facility is required in Birmingham as she believes that in many cases it is now the most suitable examination to provide a cause of death and would be suitable for use in approximately 70 per cent to 75 per cent of post-mortems that the Coroner orders.
"This will also meet the future needs of the Coroner’s service for the citizens of Birmingham and Solihull."
It adds that neighbouring districts could also use the facility.
Council and coroners staff are drawing up detailed business cases for the two options.
Earlier this summer it seemed likely that the Black Country Coroners scanner contract Igene was going to be cancelled as 'uneconomic' but last month a rescue deal was agreed to keep the service at the Crematorium in Sandwell Valley.
The petition had been handed in by Lib Dem councillor Zaker Choudhry (South Yardley) last December . At the time he was promised a full investigation and response by Labour council leader Ian Ward.