Autopsy Service

Director, Armando E. Fraire, MD

About Us
Faculty
Autopsy Permission
Types of Autopsy
Cost to the Family
Office of Decedent Affairs
Referral to the Medical Examiner
Contact information 

 

About Us

Our autopsy service provides diagnostic evaluation of adult, pediatric and fetal deaths.  We provide this service to UMass Memorial Medical Center and to a number of hospitals throughout Central Massachusetts.

This includes gross and microscopic evaluation of tissue utilizing conventional histopathology as well as specialized technologies such as immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy and molecular diagnostics.

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 Faculty 

Dr. Theonia Boyd
Dr. Armando Fraire
Dr. Thomas Smith
Dr. Bruce Woda

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Autopsy Permission

It is mandatory to have a proper authorization from the next of kin before an autopsy can be performed.  In Massachusetts, the next of kin are recognized in the following order:

  1. Spouse
  2. Children of legal age
  3. Parent(s)
  4. Siblings of legal age
  5. Legal Guardians  / Custodians

 Note:  Physicians can only recommend but “can not order” an autopsy

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Types of Autopsy 

These include complete autopsies as well as autopsies limited to head, chest or abdomen.  Organ specific autopsies and “multiple - biopsy” autopsies can also be performed but require previous consultation with the attending Pathologist.

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Cost to the Family

 

For current or former UMass patients there are no charges related to the autopsy.   

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Office of Decedent Affairs

The Office of Decedent Affairs, an adjunct of the Department of Pathology, offers autopsy related advise to physicians and other health care personnel.  The office is managed by Ms. Kerri Quist and is temporarily located at the University Campus, Room S2-449.  Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, telephone:  508-334-2205.

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Referral to the Medical Examiner

The following deaths must be reported to the Medical Examiner (Tel 800-267-6767).

  • Violent Deaths
  • Death due to chemical, thermal, or electrical agents
  • Deaths following abortion
  • Deaths resulting from disease, injury, or infections resulting from occupation
  • Sudden deaths in the absence of recognizable disease or malnutrition
  • Deaths due to sexual abuse
  • Death of a child determined to be physically dependent upon addictive drug at birth.
  • Any hospital death within twenty four hours of admission.
  • Any hospital deaths where the person was unconscious on admission and remained so.
  • Any deaths due to therapeutic misadventure (i.e.  gross malpractice, mechanical failure of equipment, wrong medications, etc.)
  • Unexpected deaths in the course of pregnancy, obstetrical deliveries, anesthesia or surgery
  • Any deaths occurring under suspicious circumstances
  • Any deaths of people in police custody including prisoners
  • Any deaths of employees while at work (this also applies to deaths related to a work injury within one (1) year of the date of work injury.
  • Deaths due to cirrhosis.

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Contact Information

Monday through Friday
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
508-793-6100

Nights and weekends call the Hospital Switchboard (508-334-1000) and page the Anatomic Pathology Resident or Attending On Call.

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