How to Initiate an Autopsy: For a Legal Next-Of-Kin/Health Care Surrogate

  1. First, download and complete the required autopsy request/consent forms.
  2. Once the 10-page forms packet is completed by the legal next of kin/health care surrogate, the forms must be faxed to 352.846.6658. To ensure timely autopsy request processing, careful attention should be paid to correctly completing the following forms:
    • Consent for Autopsy Form (p. 2, 3)
      Note: Only a legal next-of-kin or health care surrogate can consent to performing an autopsy on a decedent.
    • Medical Records Release Request (p. 9).
  3. Next, call 855.UF.EXAMS (855.833.9267) to speak with one of our UF Health Autopsy Services representatives and initiate the autopsy. The representative will review the forms to ensure that they have been completed correctly and that required criteria for an autopsy are met.
  4. After the forms have been reviewed and approved by a UF Health Autopsy Services representative, the decedent’s legal next-of-kin/health care surrogate must provide verbal autopsy consent over the phone.
    Note: At least two representatives of UF Health Autopsy Services must be present to witness the verbal authorization.
  5. When the verbal authorization is given, both the UF Health Autopsy Services representative and witness will sign page 3 of the Autopsy Request Form.
  6. Then, the UF Health Autopsy Services representative will discuss billing requirements with the legal next of kin/health care surrogate. Payment must be made with a valid credit/debit card during this phone call (American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa are accepted.).|
  7. Once payment is approved and made in full, the UF Health Patient Financial Services division will confirm payment to a UF Health Autopsy Services representative. Immediately following the authorization, transportation of the decedent is coordinated by UF Health Autopsy Services personnel. The body is then transported directly to the UF Health morgue from its point of origin.
  8. When the body arrives, the exam is performed. The typical full autopsy, which includes a neuropathology consult, generally takes from one to two hours but can take longer, depending on the complexity of the case.
  9. After the autopsy is complete, the client will be called and informed that the decedent is leaving custody of UF Health Autopsy Services and being transported back to the point of origin or a family-designated funeral home that is within the same distance from the morgue to the point of origin.
  10. The autopsy pathologist will then review the autopsy findings for inclusion in the final report.

It will take from 30 to 60 business days to complete and deliver the final autopsy report.

Because the reports can be confusing, we recommend for clients to review the reports with their primary care physician.