The Department of Pathology of the University of Iowa Health Care offers autopsy services to families of decedents who have died while admitted to another health care institution or who have died at home. 

These cases are presumed to be deaths due to one or more disease processes rather than traumatic deaths (that are routinely evaluated by the county medical examiner).

In the case of an in-patient death at another institution, we request that the autopsy consultation process and paperwork be coordinated by the decedent’s attending physician, a pathologist at that hospital, or another hospital representative. The autopsy cost is typically borne by the institution in which the patient died.

In the case of an “at-home” death, coordination of the consultation process often rests with a family member. We strongly encourage assistance from the decedent’s personal physician and/or the physician’s office staff. The autopsy cost is typically borne by the family. We will presume that jurisdiction was declined by the county medical examiner, or that he/she declined to order an autopsy.

Contact a decedent care specialist at the number below. Decision to accept a case is made on a case-by-case basis after communication with the autopsy service director or designee.

If the case is accepted for autopsy examination at UIHC, the person coordinating the autopsy request must adhere to all applicable items in the checklist (see links below).


Decent Care Center contact information:
Phone: 319-467-7000
Fax: 319-467-7007

200 Hawkins Drive - E140 GH
Iowa City, IA 52242


Dennis Firchau

Dennis Firchau, MD

Autopsy Director
Clinical Associate Professor of Pathology
Marcus Nashelsky, MD

Marcus Nashelsky, MD

Clinical Professor of Pathology
Stephanie Stauffer, MD

Stephanie Stauffer, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Pathology