FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A rapid autopsy is a way to procure tumor tissue quickly from both primary and metastatic sites (when applicable) before the tissue quality has degraded. Such rapid procurement improves the quality of advanced tumor analysis and permits an abundance of information to be extracted from tissue.
You can stay with your child for as long as you wish after his or her passing. While we prefer tissue donated within 6 hours, we also understand that your family’s needs come first. Once started, the procedure will typically take two to four hours to complete.
If nearby, the autopsy is most often performed in a state-of-the-art autopsy facility within Weill Cornell Medical College. The procedure will involve attending pathology faculty, pathology residents, experienced autopsy technicians, and research tissue procurement personnel. If you do not live near our facility, we will help you coordinate this process with your local hospital, pathology department, and funeral home.
There is no additional cost to you or your family. Your donation is a gift that makes research possible. You will still have the funeral expenses you would otherwise have had without a donation.
To any lab(s) your family chooses. Additionally, Gift from a Child seeks to direct families to researchers who have the interest and expertise to work with autopsy tissue and the desire to share the data widely across the research community. There are currently five Centers of Excellence GFAC has partnered with, including Weill Cornell.
Yes. If your child dies at home your funeral home will transport your child to the autopsy site and then back to the funeral home. In many cases, the autopsy is conducted at the funeral home.
No. A well-planned brain autopsy will not delay or interfere with a family’s funeral plans. You may have any sort of service or remembrance that you and your family wish. The autopsy is done discreetly and does not cause any change in the donor’s outward appearance.
While it may be overwhelming and emotional, it is important to try to begin making plans for tissue donation as soon as possible. Ensuring that all details are coordinated prior to death will prevent stress during a very difficult time.
You may withdraw from the donation program at any time. All you need to do is contact our office and inform us of your decision.
They consist of five labs affiliated with the CBTN. Tissue Navigators from each of the labs work together to facilitate donations throughout the country. Each of these labs has the expertise to process a whole brain donation as well as develop cell lines and mouse models from the tissue. A portion of autopsy tissue donated to any of these labs will be stored at CBTN’s biorepository in Philadelphia.