About Autopsy Center of Chicago

The Autopsy Center provides compassionate, comprehensive, caring service for families in bereavement.

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. Read more About the Center….

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The Autopsy Center engages in legislative advocacy, scientific research, and educational outreach to support the community.

Attend our critically acclaimed event for the public: Science to Humanity: The Autopsy. Join Dr. Margolis for a slideshow and discussion about the autopsy. Learn how the body changes with illness, how the procedure is performed and, above all, how the results bring a family to a place of peace. Tickets/Information/ Reviews

Latest News, Events and Articles


10/27/14 Monthly Case: Congestive Hepatomegaly This patient had a minor procedure followed by a long hospitalization. At autopsy, the liver was found to be twice as big as normal. Should the family worry about liver disease? Was this the result of a problem somewhere else in the body? Or what caused the liver to become so massive? Read more.

9/23/14 Monthly Case: Second lung cancer Read about a patient who had two lung cancers. The family was told the first cancer was “cured” but then there was a second cancer. Should the family be concerned about their loved one’s treatment? Does it matter that the first lung cancer was ten years prior? Read more.

9/17/14 Legislative Update: HB5348: Crib Bumper Pad Ban An Illinois state ban on crib bumper pads nears passage. Its enactment promotes infant safety. Summary opinion: Ready for passage. By Rabiya Bilfaqi, DePaul Univ. College of Law student. Read more.

8/16/14  10 Questions for Cancer. Autopsy Center is establishing a community-based Tumor Donation Program. Tumor Donation allows patients with cancer to donate their tumor to research and make a difference for the next generation. We appreciate your input as we undertake this important work. Let us know your thoughts by taking our 10-question survey. Thank you for participating.
10 Questions for Cancer

8/10/14 Monthly case:  Fungal abscess  This month’s case focuses on a lung infection treated as a pneumonia but found at autopsy to be abscess caused by fungus.  Read how the new information impacted on a family looking for answers.  Read more.

8/6/14  Short Fiction  Read Dr. Margolis’s short fiction “What’s Wrong with You” published this August in the medical-literary journal, Ars Medica.  Buckle in for a journey that blends the poignant and the fantastic (caution graphic).  Read more.

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In the News

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October 19, 2014
WGNTV covers Morton Grove press conference on SIU student death.
Interview with Dr. Margolis

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October 18, 2014
Morton Grove press conference on SIU student death.
Dr. Margolis discusses case.

October 7, 2014
NBC 5 Investigates SIU death
Interview with Dr. Margolis
Click here for video.

Life Media Matters logo
January, 2014. “Margolis pays special attention to the family’s story and concerns…. “I never really thought about what an autopsy can do for a family,” [an attendee at Science to Humanity: The Autopsy] said. “I never saw the emotional aspect.” Read the complete article written by Life Matters Media.

May, 2013 “…the top expert in Chicago” “…sensitive” “…impartial” Read about Dr. Margolis in the May, 2013 issue of Chicago Magazine, “This Is What Really Happens During an Autopsy.”

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From the Director’s Desk

October, 2014
This month’s e-Newsletter and our website include footage of a press conference and news coverage on the tragic death of an SIU student in 2014.  I performed the second autopsy in this case.  Our work at the Autopsy Center typically focuses on medical cause of death (stroke, heart attack, etc.).  However, occasionally we will take on a case where the concerns span accident,  homicide, and so on.  We pride ourselves on our thorough casework, which is a quality beneficial for any case in our hands.

Thank you to the Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association  for hosting an informative and supportive conference this month in  Denver.  I attended the conference as part of Autopsy Center’s ongoing work developing a cancer research program.  I was inspired by the resilience of the attendees and commitment of this group.  Please help us learn more about your views and interest in our Tumor Donation Program by taking our brief survey, 10 Questions for Cancer.  Thank you.

Our event, Science to Humanity:  The Autopsy is ongoing.  We are nearing a total of 500 attendees who have come to this fascinating and acclaimed event thus far.  Join the curious next on October 29 at the International Museum of Surgical Science.  Come learn about this important, centuries-old procedure still relevant today and still helping families come to terms with a loss.

Best for the holiday season.

Ben Margolis, M.D.

Tumor Donation Program: The Autopsy Center is working to provide an option for cancer patients to donate tumor tissue to research. The idea is similar to that of organ or tissue donor. But instead of donating an organ or tissue to help a sick person “right now,” tumor tissue is donated to research to help the next generation. Read more….