About Autopsy Center of Chicago

The Autopsy Center provides compassionate, comprehensive, caring private autopsy service for families in bereavement. We are an independent, confidential service.

Casework is meticulous and interactions with families are warm and emotionally available. We work to transform the confusing into the clear; the uncertain into the manageable; the unknown into the known. The founder, Dr. Ben Margolis, received his B.A. from Harvard University and his M.D. from the University of Chicago.

The need for closure after a loss is powerful; and you have the right to ask questions. Talk to us about how we can help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Meet Dr. Ben Margolis, Director
(Click on video below)


Stories and Science from “The Autopsy Talks”

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November 8, 2015. Click on the short video for a dip into the complex and fascinating world of autopsy science and humanity. Curious for more? Join us for “The Autopsy Talks” at Theater Wit.

Tickets & Information

New Event Venue – Theater Wit

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October 16, 2015. We are excited to expand our Autopsy Seminar into Chicago’s Theater Wit in Lakeview. An exciting, professional presence in Chicago, Theater Wit will host our growing numbers of curious attendees. Join us opening night, Wednesday, November 4 at 7 pm and be sure to take advantage of Theater Wit’s many other offerings.

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Our next online Q & A is Tuesday, November 3 @ noon.
Topic: Gastrointestinal Death.

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Click here November 3 @ noon
to join event

September 30, 2015. Have you known someone who has died with or from colon cancer, esophageal varices or a gastric bypass procedure? Do you have questions about these and other gastrointestinal conditions? Join us for another of our live, online Q & A sessions on Facebook. Let us know what’s on you mind or just follow along the discussion. We will start the event by posting a video showing an autopsy analysis of the small intestine. (Preview above; caution – graphic content.) We look forward to having you on November 3 at noon!

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Top Viewed Post: Greenfield Filter with Clot

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May Newsletter Covered
September 29, 2015. We wanted to share our top-viewed post. The Greenfield filter is a life-saving device. It is used in patients who have had blood clots in the legs. The filter is threaded through the groin for placement in the abdomen. It sits in the large vein returning blood to the heart (the inferior vena cava). The Greenfield filter traps clots that might detach from the legs. This keeps the clots from floating up to the lungs where they can kill.

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The Independent Autopsy or Private Autopsy — and Your Rights

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September 1, 2015. So much happens to a family when there’s a loss — from the emotional to the practical. A family can be pulled in different directions by all the individuals, institutions and laws that come into play during this vulnerable time. Read this piece to see if you’re familiar with your rights when it comes to autopsies.

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3 hours ago

Here is a still from the series iZombie showing the main character weighing a brain. She would tell you she removed it from the head just a second ago, but your sleuthing skills should tell she didn’t. Which of these is more likely?

a. This is a "fixed" (preserved) brain she removed from the head weeks ago. She just now removed it from the preservative to weigh it.

b. She took the brain out of the head during a case, set it aside, did more work in some other area of the body and then brought the brain to the scale.

c. For some reason, she’s taken the time to both remove the lining membranes over the brain and rinse the brain off before bringing it over to the scale.

d. All of the above See MoreSee Less

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2 days ago

Dear Autopsy Center,

I think my grandmother was neglected at the nursing home. Every time I visited, she complained of being hungry and when there was a tray of food, it was out of reach. I complained to nursing staff and fed her when I visited, but nothing seemed to change. Then, after a long decline, she died yesterday. We’ve submitted a formal complaint to the state and retained a lawyer who says we should get an autopsy. What would you look for?


Which set of autopsy findings would likely point to neglect?

a. Intravenous lines, gastrostomy tube, ankle cushions
b. Muscle wasting, advanced cancer, gastrostomy tube
c. Muscle wasting, bed sore, dry mucous membranes
d. Extensive airway mucus, pneumonia, dry mucous membranes
e. c and d
f. All of the above
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Zee Giles and Monica Vernette Gray like this

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Michele TantilloC for sure. Maybe d too?

2 days ago


Monica Vernette GrayE

2 days ago


Alex SmagaE

2 days ago


Joan CostelloE and F

2 days ago


Ken PuentF

2 days ago

Ken Puent

Autopsy Center of Chicagoc. The "big three" for neglect: malnutrition, poor skin/tissue care, and dehydration. Hygiene is another, but easily righted prior to an autopsy.

Choice a. points to excellent care with attention to nutrition, hydration and skin/soft tissue care.

The other two are a bit more vague but could reflect the natural process of dying from a specific disease (cancer or pneumonia), depending on the details of the case, family wishes for end of life care, etc.

We will discuss more in upcoming posts.

2 days ago   ·  2

Autopsy Center of Chicago

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5 days ago

Is Autopsy Center just another technical service? Or is there something else that makes us stand out.

Contact us to find out. 855-8-AUTOPSY See MoreSee Less





October, 2015
Join us opening night, November 4, at Theater Wit to experience our critically acclaimed autopsy seminar. We are delighted to expand our seminar into our new theater space. The event is an interactive slideshow and discussion for the public, as seen in Time Out Chicago, AV Club, Life Matters Media and others. Wondering if it’s for you? Think psychology, health, families….Seen it already? Spread the word. We get artists, laywers, social workers, hospice workers, law enforcement, the generally curious and many others. Learn how an autopsy is peformed. And hear a story or two along the way will show you the humanity behind the science.

Our Live from the Morgue series is up and running. If you work with high schoolers, please feel free to be in touch.

Read more….

Ben Margolis, M.D.