Who can order an autopsy?
The next of kin can order an autopsy. The results of the autopsy are given to the person who orders the autopsy. We are happpy to send the reports to attorneys or insurance companies, for example as long as we have the written permission of the person who orders the autopsy.
Where is the private autopsy performed?
We can do an autopsy at a funeral home, working with the funeral directors.
How can a private autopsy be helpful?
When insurance claims are made, usually the insurance company must review the autopsy report and/or the death certificate. It is important also to note that for legal reasons (for example, the settling of a legal estate or civil law suits), the results of an autopsy examination and death certificate information are typically required.
Will a private autopsy delay the funeral service?
In general, the timing of an autopsy will not interfere with scheduled funeral or memorial services. Any specific concerns or questions should be discussed with the pathologist prior to the examination. Special consideration can often be given if there is a critical timeline for the memorial service.
How long does an autopsy take?
The initial examination takes between two and four hours and depends on the complexity of the disease processes, any limitations to the autopsy, and the goal of the autopsy. After this examination has been completed, the funeral home preparations may continue. Additional studies occurring after the initial examination may involve the pathologist examining glass microscope slides obtained from any diseased tissue and evaluating any microbiological and toxicological tests. Preliminary information is usually available at the end of the procedure or by the next working day. Final autopsy reports become ready after the results of toxicology and any other special examinations have been received. Typically, this may take up to 1-1/2 months.
When is a limited examination useful?
Some postmortem procedures offered include brain removal and submission to a neuropathologist for examination (for example, in cases of dementia).