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


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.

7/26/14 Monthly case: Blocked stent This month’s case focuses on one finding in a patient with a very serious blood disease called S-C disease. While the finding did not cause the patient’s death, it helped the family complete their understand of the loved one’s medical condition. Read more.

7/25/14 Reflections on an Autopsy Seminar Dr. Margolis shares his experience talking with the public about the autopsy over the past couple years. As Science to Humanity moves this week to its new venue, the International Museum of Surgical Science, Dr. Margolis takes a moment to reflect. 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

August, 2014
After a successful opening on July 30, our event, Science to Humanity: The Autopsy continues this month at the International Museum of Surgical Science. The event was videotaped on July 30 and mastered into video you will here. Thank you to all our guests who participated in the event, the IMSS and all the student volunteers who made the night a success. Our next event is Wednesday August 20. Stay tuned for upcoming events in our series “Autopsy Center Presents.”

Our work on a community-based Tumor Donation Program continues. Please take a brief moment to complete our survey and let us know your thoughts on this important work. This program allows patients with cancer to donate their tumor to research as an end-of-life choice. While tumor donation has been undertaken for several decades, most programs are hospital-based at academic institutions. Nationwide, there is no general community-based network to facilitate tumor donation. The Center is aiming for broad scope. We are interested in sensitively integrating the program with the needs of patients, families, and communities. Understanding your views on the matter will be important in this process. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. More updates will be forthcoming in the fall.

Casework continue at the Center. We are honored to help families during their difficult time. Please call us at 855-8-AUTOPSY to discuss how we might be of help.

Ben Margolis, M.D. Director

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