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Autopsy Division

The Autopsy Service performs autopsies – the examination of a body after death – to provide greater medical knowledge concerning the cause of death. All autopsies performed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital are conducted with the utmost respect and professionalism. An autopsy will only be performed with the written consent of the legal next of kin.

Patients with a Brigham and Women's Hospital medical record number (MRN), including those previously cared for at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Faulkner Hospital, or at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who pass away elsewhere (e.g. at home, another hospital or a nursing home), may have an autopsy performed by the Autopsy Division.

Private autopsy requests on a patient that has not been cared for at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Faulkner Hospital, or Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will be accepted on a case by case basis.

We do offer Rapid Autopsies, which provide a unique research opportunity. Arrangement's must be made with research and the autopsy service prior to the patient's passing.

Autopsy Reports

Finalized autopsy reports may take up to 60 days after the autopsy is performed to be completed. The finalized autopsy reports can be obtained by the following methods:

1. Contacting the Mass General Brigham Medical Records Department

  • Go to: https://www.massgeneralbrigham.org/patient-information/request-medical-records
  • Download the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Authorization Form
  • Complete the authorization form
  • Sign and date the completed authorization form
  • Submit both the authorization form and an authorization from the Executor, Executrix, Administrator of the Estate or Personal Representative, along with documentation indicating legal authority.
  • Mail or your request to:

Mailing Address:
Mass General Brigham Release of Information Unit
121 Inner Belt, Room 240
Somerville, MA 02143-4453

Fax: 617-726-3661

2. Visiting the BWH Medical Records Department

Medical Records Office
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115
ASB I Building
Level 1 (L1), Rm LL104A
Phone: 617-732-4939

3. Contacting the physician with whom you requested the autopsy

The name of the physician can be located on your copy of the Permission for Autopsy form.

Contact Us

For inquires relating to the morgue and autopsy service call 617-732-5500, extension 33641.

· Press 1 for funeral home transport of a patient

· Press 2 to request a copy of a completed autopsy report

· Press 0 to check on the status of an autopsy report, requesting a private autopsy, or any other inquiries

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