Autopsy Q&A by Dr. Stöppler

Can an autopsy be performed if an individual has donated his/her organs?

Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Söppler, MD
Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD


Organ harvesting for organ transplantation is a separate procedure that is performed by a surgical team in the operating room. Donating organs does not preclude the performance of an autopsy. In this case, the autopsy is performed in the autopsy suite after organs have been harvested by the surgical team. Of course, the organs which were removed for transplantation cannot be included in the autopsy examination.

Thank you for your question.

Last Editorial Review: 12/22/2006

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