About the 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….

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

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6/27/14  New event location.  Our event, Science to Humanity:  The Autopsy, is moving to a new venue. Join us at the International Museum of Surgical Science starting July 30 for Science to Humanity:  The Autopsy; and stay tuned for more educational events in 2014-2015. The facility is located along Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast just one block south of North Avenue.  Read more.

6/25/14 – Monthly Case: Heart Rupture. This month’s case reviews an autopsy finding in a patient whose heart ruptured after a heart attack. The case sorts through the effects of life-saving therapy vs. the patient’s own medically vulnerability. Learn how the autopsy results provided one family with a context for their loss. Read more.

5/23/14 – Child Abuse Legislation and Reporting. In the new legislative session, multiple bills have been put forward to strengthen how our system addresses the important issue of child abuse. This piece touches on these bills and reviews the basics of child abuse reporting for professionals. By Candace McPherson (DePaul law student) and Ben Margolis, M.D. Read more.

4/26/14 – Recent AMA postmortem communication guidelines favor hospitals over patient rights.
In the fall of 2013, the AMA published new guidelines for communication between hospitals, coroners and families after an unanticipated or unexplained loss. These guidelines protect the interests of hospitals over the rights of families; and, in at least one state, the guidelines violate the law. Summary opinion: In need of revision.
Read more.

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In the News

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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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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….

From the Director’s Desk

Autopsy Center of Chicago continues to work on behalf of families in bereavement and the community. We promote health, facilitate closure during bereavement and support the rights of families experiencing loss.

June marks our first case performed for the sole purpose of Tumor Donation. This is a milestone for the center and a step towards our goal of being able to support patients and families wishing to participate in the fight against cancer by donating tumor to research.  All other cases to this point have been for the family to learn more about the cause of death and other medical conditions in the their loved one.  In this case, the family’s participation was similar to organ donation.  Read more.

Ben Margolis, M.D.

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Science to Humanity: The Autopsy
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4/25/14 – School Outreach
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Urban Prep students visited with the Autopsy Center on March 26 to learn about the field of autopsy pathology. As part of Urban Prep’s “Discover Our City Day,” over 600 of the Bronzeville students fanned out in groups throughout the Chicago area to meet with varied professionals, including Dr. Margolis. Read more.