Southwest Life

A final lesson learned with body donation

What I remember most clearly is the smell. A sharp, nose-burning chemical odor permeated the air as my classmates and I filed into the anatomy laboratory at the University of Illinois College of...

DATE: July 13, 2009 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Some thoughts about promise unrealized

My maternal grandmother's older brother, Great-Uncle Bill, was my hero. He was a brilliant, self-educated man and the family black sheep.He smoked. Nobody in the family smoked.He swore. Nobody in...

DATE: June 8, 2009 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Debate about 'shaken baby' misses the point

The American Academy of Pediatrics is publishing a position paper this month that replaces the term "shaken baby syndrome" with the more generic "abusive head trauma."So I learned last October at...

DATE: May 11, 2009 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Lab's mistake begs a larger question

Last September, after a Michigan State Police audit of results from the Detroit police firearms laboratory, criminal justice officials ordered the Detroit crime lab shut down.The audit was ordered...

DATE: March 9, 2009 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Canadian group takes huge hit; is ours better?

None of his colleagues threw themselves into the challenging area of pediatric forensic pathology, untrained, quite the way Dr. Charles Smith did.From 1981 to 2005, he was a pediatric pathologist...

DATE: Feb. 9, 2009 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Forensic pathology, mediocre or no?

"Forensic pathology is the last bastion of medical mediocrity," said Dr. Anderson, my mentor during general pathology residency.A staff pathologist at the teaching hospital where I studied, he had...

DATE: Jan. 12, 2009 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report