Dr. Carol J. Huser

Position: Coroner’'s Report

Email: chuser@durangoherald.com

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

Alcohol steals the potential of so many

On my bedroom wall hangs a family portrait almost 100 years old. Dressed in their Sunday best and formally arranged in two rows, my paternal grandmother, Clara; her parents; three brothers; and...

DATE: June 3, 2015 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Genetic testing can explain sudden deaths

Certain inherited diseases confer a significantly increased risk of sudden death. Genetic tests for many of those diseases are available, but most coroners and medical examiners don’t order them....

DATE: May 10, 2015 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

It’s useless to test skills that go unused

Dr. Charles Hirsch, under whom I trained, said few people have 20 years’ experience. Lots of people have one year’s experience repeated 20 times. Some people spend years repeating their errors,...

DATE: April 12, 2015 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Distinguishing neglect from poor caregiving

“What looks like neglect from my perspective is sometimes the best people can do given the tools and capabilities they have,” one of my colleagues said. The comment was part of a debate about...

DATE: March 8, 2015 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

It’s not easy to change your mind

When a child dies from a head injury, an “undetermined” manner-of-death certification may be seen as an act of cowardice or an act of courage. Brookelynn Palmer, the 13-month-old daughter of...

DATE: Feb. 7, 2015 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

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