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

December, 2014
Happy holidays. 2014 was a productive year for the Center. We are excited to continue our growth in the Chicago area and beyond; and honored to serve our families.

A brief list of our 2014 accomplishments includes:

-Community education. We found a new and exciting home for our event, Science to Humanity: The Autopsy, at the International Museum of Surgical Science; and have now had over 500 guests who have attended this informative and sensitive event.

-Ongoing youth outreach. The center again hosted Urban Prep Academy high schoolers as part of their Discover Our City program.

-Law student internship. Rabiya Bilfaqi (2nd year student, DePaul University College of Law), our 2014 summer intern, contributed through her research on legislation; and will be an ongoing part of our on Tumor Donation Program development team (see below).

-Tumor Donation Program. We are continuing our working developing a program that allows patients with end-stage cancer to donate cancer tissue to research as an end-of-life choice. Please help us by completing our confidential survey, 10 Questions for Cancer. This will help us learn about attitudes and interest so that we can develop a sensitive program integrated with community needs. More updates will follow in 2015.

Read more.

I wish you a happy and healthy New Year.

Ben Margolis, M.D.