FAQ

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Can I limit the autopsy to certain areas of the body?
Yes. Some families only want the brain examined for neurological disorders. Others prefer the chest, neck, and abdominal organs examined without the brain examination. Still others want a complete examination. See the "limitations" section of the Autopsy Consent Form. Please note that limiting the autopsy does not reduce the autopsy fee.

Can I still have an open casket or viewing after an autopsy is performed?
Yes, an open casket viewing can still occur even though an autopsy is performed. All of our incisions are sutured shut similar to someone having a surgical operation. It would be very difficult to detect that an autopsy was performed.

Does insurance cover the costs of an autopsy?
Unfortunately most insurance policies do not cover the cost of an autopsy. Occasionally an insurance company will pay for an autopsy if it is a work related death and a Medical Examiner or Coroner has opted not to perform an autopsy.

How long does it take to get the autopsy report?
Immediately following the procedure the pathologist will call the authorizing family member with a tentative cause of death. A written Provisional Anatomical Diagnosis (PAD) is mailed to the authorizing family member 24-48 hours after the autopsy is performed. The Final Anatomical Diagnosis (FAD) written report along with microscopic study will be available from six to eight weeks.

Is toxicology included with an autopsy?
No. However, during the autopsy, we can collect blood, urine, vitreous or other samples so that toxicology may be performed. Toxicology is an additional expense as it is sent to an independent accredited laboratory.

Who can give consent for an autopsy?
Texas law specifies that consent for an autopsy be provided by (in the order listed):

1. Spouse
2. Any child of legal age
3. Guardian or court having care of minor child
4. A parent
5. A guardian
6. The next of kin (other relative)
7. Any person who assumes custody of and responsibility for the burial of the body

*(Please note that a Power of Attorney expires when an individual dies).