Welcome to Autopsy.Online.
This website is an extension of Autopsy Center of Chicago’s years long commitment to in-depth education. All video is provided by the written consent of the families. Thank you to the families for sharing the gift of education. Our vision is both deep and broad: a comprehensive platform for use by medical professionals in training and beyond. The content is constantly evolving.
Please contact us to let us know any feedback at all. We’re open and want to learn…as much as we want to teach.
About the Autopsy.Online Project
The Autopsy.Online Project is an ongoing and active video-donation teaching concept. We treasure our families and the educational gifts they graciously make. Especially with digital paradigms advancing, health professions students benefit most by working closely with actual patients. This is what we offer. There is no substitute for seeing what’s really inside the body, in its messy and complex beauty.
Our cases come to us via family requests for autopsy. Loved ones seeking closure after a loss know we care for our families through detailed and compassionate casework. During the consent process — like many academic facilities — we explain very gently that we can record video for medical education. We always protect the confidentiality — you’ll never see a face or a tattoo or hear a name — and this reassures the family.
When we began recording video some 5 years ago, it was with great caution — and not taken lightly. I have personally read every law in every state covering consented autopsy and was involved in legislation advocating for family rights after death. This site is possible only with deep understanding of the law and a profound sensitivity to family grief.
Video-donation is similar to organ donation in many ways. There is an altruistic benefit — someone else is being helped: future patients through better trained clinicians who benefit from our content. Moreover, the loved one’s memory lives on through the video record. The emotional impact is similar to what you may have seen when mothers meet the recipient of their child’s heart donation — listening with a stethoscope on the recipient’s chest. Our video-donors’ experience is profound and positive — often a boon during a time of painful loss. Knowing they’ve made a difference means the death has not been in vain.
The journey began with some experiences through social media, an Autopsy App, theater event and several other forms before Autopsy.Online grew into our main teaching platform. We have experience with the public, schools and individuals; and the sensitivity and strength to keep our families safe while educating our viewers.
I look forward to seeing how the platform evolves. And remember, it is always changing, and always growing. Your support will ultimately allow for direct video-donation, a long-term goal of ours.
And, again, your feedback is welcome.
Dr. Ben Margolis
Founder and Director
Autopsy Center of Chicago