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Services   •   Credentials   •   Frequently Asked Questions


Contact GPMG by using the contact information below.

The time a family suffers the loss of a loved one is perhaps one of the most shattering events in anyone's experience. It is full of emotional turmoil, uncertainty and vulnerability. Yet, at this same difficult time the family is also obliged to rapidly take the extraordinary measures attendant to arranging for the final disposition of the one departed.

Sometimes events surrounding a death are clear and unambiguous. Questions of how and why are evident and the process moves relatively quickly to interment. Healing and recovery can begin. Yet, many times whether the loss is sudden or anticipated, the surviving family may have feelings of guilt and may have doubts about what has just happened. Often they are overwhelmed by unfamiliar feelings, and they are desperately in need of answers to start the process of closure. It is not uncommon the fear of death and loss of a patient literally prevents the attending physician(s) and nurse(s) from communicating with the grieving family, at a time when they need the comforting and consoling words from those who know and understand the medical circumstances the best. If no autopsy is ordered, this can only compound the uncertainty and the grief, and make every step more difficult and painful while trying to make decisions concerning the final disposition of their loved one and settling of affairs.

Under these circumstances, there is recourse for the family. An independent autopsy will provide the cause and manner of death, and answers to the surviving family's questions of why. GPMG provides physicians who care, and who will speak to the survivors with care and compassion, and this alone can provide a great deal of relief and comfort. The autopsy findings will provide the answers needed to clarify unsettling questions and bring about an understanding of the full circumstances surrounding the death. Informed decisions can then be made, and as the remaining questions resolve, family members are more easily able to let go and begin to look to the future once again.

Whatever unresolved question a family has about their loss, GPMG has the professional expertise and commitment to help them find the answers they want and the closure they need. For more information, contact GPMG directly by using the contact information below.


GPMG is a professional group of pathologists offering a complete range of pathology services. All cases are administered directly by GPMG and each is given a customer service contact who is on call to keep you informed of progress, findings and other details, anytime day or night. Our full range of services to include the following:

Private/Medical Autopsies. When the family desires a fully independent examination of the cause and manner of death GPMG professionals are ready to assist you. This procedure will answer questions concerning acquired and inherited diseases, so as to assist the family in finding closure for the loss of their loved one, and to assist the surviving family members with their own healthcare maintenance. The family will receive a comprehensive written report including gross and microscopic examination.

Forensic Autopsies. Fully independent autopsies providing the cause and manner of death with medical- legal consultation to families and attorneys, forensic photography, preservation of toxicology samples and appropriate medical record review. This includes a comprehensive report with a gross and microscopic examination, and in addition, the report will assist the family in finding closure for the loss of their loved one and will answer questions concerning acquired and inherited diseases.

Exhumation Autopsies. A complete Private or Forensic Autopsy providing cause and manner of death.

Second Observer Autopsies. GPMG professionals are often asked to represent the interests of the family when the Coroner or Medical Examiner has ordered an autopsy on their loved one. A GPMG physician will attend and observe the Coroner/Medical Examiner autopsy and then prepare an independent comprehensive report to include gross and microscopic examination.

Re-autopsy. When the Coroner/Medical Examiner has already performed an autopsy, or an autopsy has been performed in a hospital, families often seek a re-examination or re-autopsy to ensure an independent opinion. GPMG professionals are ready to provide this service with an independent comprehensive autopsy report to include gross and microscopic examination.

Toxicology Services. Testing of blood, urine, body fluids or tissues for illicit and prescription drugs in determining the cause and manner of death.

Neuropathology Services. Post-mortem neurological examination of the central and peripheral nervous system for diagnosis and confirmation of such diseases as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, etc., by a Board Certified Neuropathologist.

Genetic Counseling. Counseling families regarding inheritable diseased processes.

Autopsy Report and Medical Record Review. Providing medical opinion on standard of care, correct diagnosis, adequacy of care, and cause and manner of death. GPMG has qualified clinical experts with forensic experience to provide opinions on the standard of care and correlate the clinical and autopsy findings.

Medical Malpractice / Wrongful Death Investigation. GPMG fact-finding research can help determine if cause and manner of death circumstances suggest possible medical malpractice. We can do a complete autopsy for your client or review the autopsy results if an autopsy has already been done by the hospital or Medical Examiner/coroner.

Crime Scene Investigation. Expert independent investigations are conducted to answer the most important questions. GPMG has experienced, seasoned private investigators who are ready to assist when needed.

Expert Medical Opinion Services. GPMG pathologists are experts in deposition and trial testimony for both civil and criminal cases, having extensive experience in each.

Complete Case Management and Final Outcome. GPMG assigns a manager to follow your case from beginning to end. The case manager will ensure the autopsy findings are fully explained and all questions are answered.


GPMG pathologists are board certified in Anatomic, Clinical, Forensic and Neuropathology, with consultants available in Hemopathology, Pulmonary Pathology, Liver Pathology, Cardiovascular Pathology and Pediatric Pathology. We are also leaders in the development and use of computer and video imaging technologies for pathological and other medical purposes.

Click here for a full resume on the GPMG professional staff.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an autopsy?
An autopsy is a surgical procedure that entails an invasive examination in order to determine the cause and manner of death.

Who provides an autopsy, and who is most qualified to perform an autopsy?
Board Certified Pathologists are the most fully qualified experts for providing autopsy services. They are specially trained to recognize the anatomic biochemical changes brought about by disease.

Are GPMG patholgists board certified?
Yes, GPMG pathologists are board certified in anatomic, clinical, forensic and neuropathology. All are fully qualified and experienced in court testimony.

Can anyone request an autopsy?
Any family member or close friend of the deceased can ask for an autopsy, but the autopsy must be properly authorized.

Who can authorize an autopsy?
Only the legal next of kin or individual (family member or non-family member) with durable power of attorney can authorize an autopsy.

Who is considered the legal next of kin?
The legal next of kin would be one of the following: parent of a minor child, surviving spouse, oldest adult child (if both parents deceased or divorced), and oldest adult sibling (if both parents deceased).

Is the pathologist providing the autopsy responsible for signing the death certificate?
No, the attending physician who provided medical services prior to the person's death is responsible for signing the death certificate. In the event the attending physician doesn't sign the death certificate, then the coroner or medical examiner takes jurisdiction.

When does the local jurisdiction order an autopsy?
The Coroner or Medical Examiner deals with cases of sudden, unexpected, violent or traumatic death. The Coroner or Medical Examiner also makes the decision on what type of cases involving a natural death may be placed under their jurisdiction for further investigation. If the deceased has a significant well-documented medical history, the Coroner or Medical Examiner will usually release the case and not perform an autopsy. Each jurisdiction has its own guidelines and these guidelines vary significantly.

Where are private autopsies performed?
Autopsy services are performed in a space designated by the funeral director providing services for the family (preparation room, autopsy suite/morgue). We also provide an off-site laboratory-morgue facility if needed.

Will an autopsy affect funeral arrangements?
No, there is no change in the appearance of the body following the autopsy. Working with your funeral director, GPMG will attempt to schedule the autopsy so as not to affect funeral arrangements.

Who performs the autopsy?
A GPMG Board certified Forensic pathologist conducts and administers the autopsy from start to finish. GPMG never subcontracts to other pathologists.

When should an autopsy be done?
Coroner and Medical Examiner guidelines must be followed in each jurisdiction. However, even if not called for by law, an autopsy is always recommended. Any and all questions related to the death can be investigated. Even where there were no questions, autopsies often reveal useful information to help the family better deal with their loss. An autopsy also forestalls questions that may arise after burial or cremation, and the autopsy often discloses vital information, such as the status of inheritable diseases, that will assist surviving family members with their health care. We suggest you consult with a GPMG representative who can help you decide.

Will the casket have to be closed because of an autopsy?
Absolutely not! An autopsy is a precision surgical procedure. The incisions made on the body are not visible when the deceased is clothed and placed in the casket. GPMG takes every measure to care and respect the body so as not to create problems for embalming and viewing by paying meticulous attention to blood vessel integrity and preservation.

How much does an autopsy cost?
Autopsy fees begin at $2,500, and this may include forensic photography; preservation of toxicology samples; reviewing appropriate medical records, investigative and police reports; and interfacing with the family's attorney.
There are additional fees for travel expenses outside of the Los Angeles area and for specialized services such as toxicology, neuropathology examination, and specialized diagnostic techniques and consultations. Contact a GPMG consultant for full details.

When should an autopsy be performed?
The autopsy should be performed as soon as possible after death. When the deceased is refrigerated decomposition is slowed and a brief delay of several days usually will not interfere with the autopsy results.

Can an autopsy be performed if the body has been embalmed?
Absolutely! The autopsy should be performed on an unembalmed body for the best outcome; however, if there will be a long delay (beyond one week) between death and the autopsy, then embalming is recommended. Embalming preserves the body tissues, but be aware that it does interfere with many of the toxicology studies.

How soon after an autopsy is the report ready?
Verbal preliminary findings are given to the authorizing family member or individual within 24 to 48 hours following completion of the autopsy. A full written report is usually completed and mailed in 4 to 6 weeks. If there are special procedures requested such as toxicology, neuropathology etc; the written report may take up to 12 weeks. GPMG personnel will go over the report with the requesting party and answer any questions.

Glenoaks Pathology Medical Group, Inc
David M. Posey, MD

2222 Foothill Blvd. Suite E565
La Cañada, CA 91011

Tel: (800) 620-4644 • (818) 249-1911
Fax: (818) 249-1941

24 hour pager-we always respond
(888) 434-1952


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