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As hospitals and municipalities around the country cut back on the costly service of providing autopsies, family members of the deceased who feel there are unanswered questions that could be resolved by a post-mortem investigation are not without recourse. Today, only about 5 percent of all hospital deaths are autopsied, which is down 42 percent from 1965, according to Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Therefore, private autopsy firms are moving in to fill the void.


1. Go to the website  What services does this company provide? What business model structure did Herrera follow in 2005? Do you agree/disagree that
there is a need for this type of service? Discuss.

2. According to the WSJ article, what fees are typically charged for the autopsies?  Based on this article and the website, what types of accounts do you think Herrera would have as part of his chart of accounts?

3.  According to the WSJ article, what mistakes does Suzanna Dana explain should be avoided in this type of business, as well as for other first-time entrepreneurs?


Staff. (2010). Demand Breathes Life into Private Autopsy Companies, Wall Street Journal, October 14 (Retrievable online at

MSNBC Video, A dying business? Hardly, Oct. 26 (Retrievable online at

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