Autopsy (1467)

Key points below

What is an autopsy and why is it done?

An autopsy is a surgical procedure that is done after a person has died. Many people have never thought about whether they would agree to an autopsy for a loved one. An autopsy may be helpful to: 

What is learned from doing an autopsy can help to treat and care for other people.

Who can consent to an autopsy?  How soon is consent needed?

How is an autopsy done?

There are several parts to an autopsy.

Who does the autopsy?

It is done by a doctor called a pathologist. This doctor has special training in the nature and cause of disease.

When will I get the results?

The completed written report is ready in about 90 days.  Either the healthcare provider who ordered the autopsy or the bereavement coordinator will contact you once the report is complete.  

What effect might an autopsy have on the funeral?

How much does it cost?

There is no cost to you or your family. If your child is not at the Children’s Milwaukee campus, there will be a cost to transport them to Milwaukee.

Will any research be done with the child’s body?

Research will only be done with your permission. Tissues, organs, or fluids, like blood, may be collected for research purposes. This helps doctors:

Where will the tissue or organs be stored?

Keeping extra samples is called specimen or tissue banking.  Samples, like blood or tissue, are kept in a lab.  They are used in future research studies. Only those with special permission by a research committee can use them.

Who can help with this process?

We know that this is a very hard time for you and your family. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Children’s Grief Services. Please know you are not alone.  We are here to support you and your family during this time. 

To contact Children’s Grief Services team:
Call 414-337-4250