Decedent Affairs
Phone: 916-734-2885
Fax: 916-734-7903

John Bishop, M.D. (Director of Anatomic Pathology, Vice Chair for Clinical Services)
Phone: 916-734-3277

An autopsy is a post-mortem examination of a deceased human to determine the cause and manner of death, and to study any disease process or injury that may be present.

At UC Davis Health, autopsies are performed to:

  • Improve the overall quality of care in our health system.
  • Enhance medical education and research.
  • To determine or confirm diagnoses in difficult clinical cases.

Clinicians are highly encouraged to obtain permission for autopsy on deceased patients. The Decedent Affairs Office 916-734-2885 will provide the appropriate consent forms, ensure that the legally responsible person signs this consent, and that any necessary witnessing signatures are obtained. Clinicians should contact the Coroner's Office whenever their jurisdiction appears probable or questionable. Clinicians should also notify the Decedent Affairs Office if the patient suffered from an infectious disease.

UC Davis Health System autopsies are performed by UC Davis School of Medicine faculty and residents at the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office:

4800 Broadway, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95820
Phone: 916-874-9320