Position: Coroner’'s Report

Email: chuser@durangoherald.com

‘Silent suicide’ raises many questions worth exploring

If a competent elder refuses food, water or essential medical treatment and dies as a direct result, is that death a suicide? When a colleague brought up the topic recently, I realized that in 30...

DATE: Nov. 2, 2016 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

In Freddie Gray death, forensic medicine couldn’t answer critical questions

In April of 2015, Freddie Carlos Gray Jr., a 25-year-old black man, broke his neck while in police custody in Baltimore. The medical examiner ruled Gray’s death a homicide, but no officer was...

DATE: Oct. 5, 2016 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Imminent-death organ donation raises ethical questions

The Wall Street Journal says 52-year-old Robert Osterrieder, a registered organ donor, was a “go-to-guy,” always willing to help. Osterrieder’s wife and children thought organ donation reflected...

DATE: Aug. 31, 2016 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

When fright kills, is it murder or an accident?

It’s possible to frighten a person to death, and people have been charged with and convicted of murder for doing so. The recognition that a person may be guilty of some degree of murder even though...

DATE: Aug. 3, 2016 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Suspicion is nothing without proof

On March 2, one day after he was indicted by a federal grand jury for rigging bids for oil and natural gas leases, Aubrey McClendon, 56, former Chesapeake Energy CEO and part owner of the NBA’s...

DATE: July 6, 2016 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Johns Hopkins ‘medical error’ study delivers false conclusion

The authors of a paper from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine wrote: “If medical error was a disease, it would rank as the third leading cause of death in the U.S.” The lay press covered...

DATE: June 1, 2016 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Wise mentor’s lessons shaped my career, life

My teacher, a towering figure in forensic pathology and New York City‘s chief medical examiner for a quarter century including on Sept. 11, has died. Dr. Charles S. Hirsch was 79. I met Hirsch in...

DATE: May 4, 2016 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

‘Experts’ don’t always know what truth is

I learned very early in my career that some “experts” don’t know what they’re talking about. After my general pathology residency but before I began a forensic pathology fellowship, the coroner in...

DATE: April 6, 2016 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

After Scalia’s death, autopsy was necessary

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 79, died last month during a hunting trip in West Texas. Conspiracy theorists suggest Scalia’s assassination was ordered by President Barack Obama, former...

DATE: March 2, 2016 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

The challenge of deciphering person’s intent

According to medical examiner tradition, vehicular fatalities are accidents even when the crash was the result of drunken or reckless driving. The vehicle operator will probably face some level of...

DATE: Feb. 3, 2016 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Good judgment trumps rules about standards

Doctors have always opposed mandated practice standards. I’ve heard the arguments for more than 30 years. When I was a resident, one of the first pathology standards to be drafted listed the...

DATE: Jan. 6, 2016 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

There’s reason to doubt what families say

Some people object to listing toxicology results in the autopsy report, which is public record in many states. Most are embarrassed on behalf of a loved one. Some have another reason. The couple...

DATE: Dec. 2, 2015 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

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