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 — we have no affiliation with any coroner, medical examiner or hospital.

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)


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4 hours ago

Autopsy Ins and Outs

True or False.
The two scalpel handles at the bottom left would be preferable to the two at the upper right when removing the prostate.
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2 days ago

Save the date!
Tuesday Sept. 22, noon
Join us for our next live, on-line Q & A here on Facebook.
Dr. Margolis, Director of Autopsy Center of Chicago, moderates.
Topic: Infectious Disease Death.
Event begins with short autopsy video – preview below.
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5 days ago

Autopsy Ins and Outs

True or False
An autopsy can occur before the body goes for organ donation.
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Lee Graves, Monica Vernette Gray and 3 others like this

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Alycia CooperTrue.

5 days ago


Esme RamirezT

5 days ago


Schyla Dawn BabinFaulse

5 days ago


Alison KarmanianGenerally, autopsies are done after organ donation. The donation is coordinated with the pathologist or coroner/ medical examiner to ensure that any specific organs or tissues that need to be examined for autopsy are NOT altered in the donation process. Tissue donation can take place after post-mortem examination, but not organ donation.

5 days ago


Monica Vernette GrayFalse. ..organ donations first due to time constraints…tissue donations might be okay after autopsy

5 days ago

Monica Vernette Gray

Autopsy Center of ChicagoFalse. AK and MVG – thank you. Great responses. Also, the autopsy is not a sterile procedure so should not happen before organs are transplanted into a living person.

5 days ago   ·  1

Autopsy Center of Chicago

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Live from the Morgue
Interactive, engaging video-education for high schools.
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Details and registration


Autopsy Center online Q & A
Next event: Tuesday, September 22, 2014 @ noon
Topic: Infections Disease Death

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Click here Sept. 22 @ noon
to join event


In the News

WSJ photo March, 2015
“What Autopsies Can Teach”
Dr. Margolis intervied by The Wall Street Journal. Author: Melinda Beck.

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From the Director’s Desk

August, 2015

Join us this Thursday, August 13 at 10 am central time for an online Q & A for the public. The event will begin with a brief video of an autopsy dissection of a coronary artery (for brief clip, click here.) The complete video will be followed by a live, interactive on-line Q & A through the comment section on the Autopsy Center Facebook page.

Read more….

I wish everyone a happy and enjoyable remainder of our Chicago summer, slipping too quickly away.

Ben Margolis, M.D.

The Independent Autopsy or Private Autopsy — and Your Rights

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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Our next online Q & A is Tuesday September 22 @ noon.
Topic: Infectious Disease Death


Click here Sept. 22 @ noon
to join event

August 31, 2015. Have you known someone with pneumonia or a bed sore? Are you curious to know what the autopsy can teach in these cases and others like them? Log in for our live, online Q & A to let us know what questions you have about infectious disease-related deaths or anything autopsy related. We will start the event by posting a video showing how the spleen is evaluated at autopsy (preview above). See you then!

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Coming up in September: National Childhood Obesity Awareness month

August 20, 2015. View our video message on childhood obesity and read about the health consequences of obesity we see every day at Autopsy Center. If you are a parent with an obese child, take September to learn some new diet and lifestyle choices you can make with your child — and for life.

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Live from the Morgue is now live!

Live from morgue logo

August 12, 2015. Registration is now open for our high school educational event, “Live from the Morgue.” Educators should contact us for more information.

Learn about the event.

The Autopsy: An Emotional Choice.

Autopsy emotions

July 22, 2014. Do you think the autopsy is strictly a technical procedure? Why do families want them? Are they looking for just the facts or is there something else going on that drives the request? Follow “David” as he makes his request and read Dr. Margolis’s insight into the autopsy process.

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Loss Twice: Death in the Hospital.

Hospital death relationships

July 18, 2015. Death is hard for the family, regardless. What happens if death occurs after a long hospitalization? Are you a provider? Are you a phlebotomist? Think you haven’t played a role for the family? Read Dr. Margolis’s view of what families go through.

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