The Autopsy service of the Department of Pathology of the Medical College of Wisconsin performs autopsies for Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Froedtert Hospital Campus and Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Community Memorial Hospital Campus on expired patients at the request of next-of-kin. The Autopsy service also accepts outside cases for autopsy at the discretion of the Autopsy director, Dr. Elizabeth J. Cochran. Approximately 70 cases are performed each year.
Pathology residents spend three months on the autopsy service with Dr. Cochran throughout their first year, and learn how to perform an autopsy and generate an autopsy report. They also participate in Autopsy rounds, a quarterly teaching conference with the Department of Internal Medicine.
What is an autopsy?
What is the value of an autopsy?
Important information about the autopsy procedure.
The body is treated respectfully and with dignity at all times during the autopsy procedure. There is no charge to the family for autopsies performed on patients of FH and CMH if the patient was attended by an FH or CMH attending within five years of their death. Autopsy is only performed only with permission of the deceased person’s legal next-of-kin. All of the organs and systems may be examined, or the procedure may be limited to certain ones depending on the needs and wishes of the family. We recommend a complete autopsy be performed in order to ensure that all possible questions have the best chance of being answered.
The initial part of an autopsy (gross examination of organs) is completed within approximately four hours and so delays in funeral arrangements do not occur. There is no disfigurement of the body and viewing of the body and a timely funeral are still possible. Organ, tissue, and eye donation are still possible.
The Final Autopsy Report is completed within six weeks of the autopsy date, in most cases, and incorporates the findings after microscopic examination of the organs.
Request an Autopsy Report
Autopsy reports are released only to the next-of-kin and may be requested from the Department of Pathology at (414) 805-8471 or (for Froedtert Hospital patients) from the Department of Medical Records by filling out an authorization found on line at: Http://www.froedtert.com/PatientInformation/MedicalRecords/RequestingMedicalRecords.htm
Professor of Pathology; Director of Neuropathology; Director of Autopsy Service; Director of Medical Student Education in Pathology