Position: Coroner’'s Report

Email: chuser@durangoherald.com

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

Errors common when reporting cause of death

A great many of the death certificates filed in this country aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on, and neither are the scientific studies based on them. I’ve expressed this opinion in writing...

DATE: Jan. 11, 2015 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Is shooting from distance self-defense?

Almost 20 years ago, two men in Fort Myers, Florida, got into an argument, and the one who brought a baseball bat to a gunfight wound up dead. I did the autopsy. I don’t remember what the argument...

DATE: Dec. 7, 2014 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

What are limits when ruling on cause of death?

In March, a superior court judge in New Hampshire barred the state’s chief medical examiner from testifying that the death of an 8-month-old boy was a homicide. As reported by The Telegraph in...

DATE: Nov. 9, 2014 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Being coroner doesn’t mute pain of personal loss

Death catches some people unawares. Others, like my Grandpa Reuben, see it coming. As the only child of two only children, I was unusually close to my grandparents. I followed Grandpa around the...

DATE: Oct. 12, 2014 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

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