Position: Coroner’'s Report

Email: chuser@durangoherald.com

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

Medical examiners consider range of evidence

A New York state medical examiner certified that Vincent Viafore’s death was a homicide because his “kayak drain plug (was) intentionally removed by (an)other.” The New York Times reported that...

DATE: Nov. 4, 2015 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Two examples that may prove shaking can kill

Some medical experts have decided that shaking can’t kill babies. These experts regularly testify for the defense when murder charges are brought after an infant’s death has been attributed to...

DATE: Sept. 30, 2015 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Drowning a tough call for coroners

Fictional medical examiners have no trouble telling if somebody drowned. In real life, that determination can be hard. The classic finding in drowning is a cone of white froth bubbling out of the...

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

Doctor’s ‘tone’ is professional, not malicious

Last month, the anti-abortion activist group Center for Medical Progress released an undercover video of a Planned Parenthood doctor graphically describing techniques by which fetal organs for...

DATE: Aug. 5, 2015 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Saved organs not souvenirs, not for sale

During a science field trip to the Staten Island morgue in 2005, high school students saw a familiar name on a glass jar containing a brain. Jesse Shipley, a classmate’s brother, had died two...

DATE: July 1, 2015 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

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