Medically Reviewed by DR. SATISH CHUNDRU

Wooden Casket at Funeral with Red Rose On TopIn many cultures, funerals are the traditional way of honoring a deceased person and saying goodbye to your lost loved one. The ceremony helps survivors with their grieving process, and also helps loved ones remember and celebrate the life of the one who’s passed.

When an initial autopsy is performed by a jurisdiction, it’s done very soon after death and before the body is released to the funeral home that will be arranging the burial or cremation. But sometimes, jurisdictions decide not to perform an autopsy. In other cases, family members may desire to have a board-certified forensic pathologist perform a private autopsy to answer questions that linger following a medical examiner’s report or provide a second opinion.

A common question Dr. Chundru is asked by family members requesting a private autopsy is whether or not the procedure will prevent the family from hosting a funeral for the deceased. The answer is, “No.” The autopsy that Dr. Chundru performs can take place in your selected funeral home and only takes a few hours to conduct. There’s no reason that having the procedure performed should interfere with your ability to host a funeral for your loved one.

Open Caskets Are Still an Option After a Private Autopsy

Family members who desire a private autopsy for their loved one are often relieved to learn that not only can the procedure be performed quickly and within a typical funeral timeline, but that it’s also possible to host an open casket viewing after the procedure. While the decision to offer an open casket is a personal one, many who choose this option say it’s a way to help gain closure following their loved one’s passing.

What Should I Do If I Want a Private Autopsy Performed on My Family Member?

You should call Dr. Chundru to inquire about the procedure as soon as possible. Since travel arrangements are often necessary, the sooner you contact him, the sooner he can arrive at the funeral home and perform the examination. Even if you aren’t 100% sure you want the procedure performed, you should reach out to him immediately to learn of his current availability and ask any questions you may have about the type of answers the procedure may provide.

Meeting Burial Requirements for People of Faith

Some families practice a faith that has traditions and customs that dictate when a burial or cremation should take place. Dr. Chundru understands the importance of following these religious instructions and works diligently with families to conduct the desired autopsy in the necessary timeframe.

Learning More About Your Family’s Options

Dr. Chundru understands that the days following a loved one’s passing can, for some, feel rushed and blurry. It can also be hard for survivors to make decisions after a loved one’s passing. These are all normal and expected responses to death.

However, the window to perform an autopsy is limited. In most cases, the decision needs to be made before the viewing and funeral dates are selected so that travel and time for the procedure can be arranged.

To learn more about your options following a loved one’s death, contact Dr. Chundru’s practice.