Position: Coroner’'s Report

Email: chuser@durangoherald.com

What’s proper burial for an aborted fetus?

Medical examiners have to decide the cause and manner of death when somebody dies under their jurisdiction. That’s not all they have to decide. Sometimes, they have to decide whether to allow...

DATE: Sept. 8, 2013 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

From beginning to end, Mom was my best friend

As a kid, I was a loner. I don’t recall much teasing or bullying, just isolation. I wished for friends, but my interests (anything to do with science) were so different from the interests of most...

DATE: Aug. 11, 2013 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

The murky world of morphine and palliative care

Sometimes, my colleagues report cases in which palliative or comfort care crosses the line into euthanasia. Palliative care is intended not to treat illness or prolong life but to keep someone with...

DATE: July 7, 2013 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Sometimes there’s no substitute for an autopsy

Autopsies cost a lot of money. At least $2,500.00 each, cost accountants say.Hospitals rarely do autopsies. Decades ago, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Institutions lifted the...

DATE: June 9, 2013 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

When seizure led to death, was that ruled a suicide?

“We (medical examiners) certify on the basis of our own training, personal philosophy and mood,” wrote one of my colleagues during a contentious online debate about the “correct” manner of death...

DATE: May 12, 2013 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

My mentor, helping us learn even near the end

Dr. Joseph H. Davis, former chief medical examiner in Miami and one of the most highly respected of all forensic pathologists, died March 19. He was 88 years old.Dr. Davis was chief in Miami from...

DATE: April 7, 2013 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

‘Suicide by cop’: Let’s just call it a homicide

The New York Office of Chief Medical Examiner has published a thought-provoking paper endorsing use of the concept of “suicide by cop.”The office’s criteria for suicide by cop are:Prior suicidal...

DATE: March 10, 2013 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Lesson from Newtown: Maybe guns not so cool

For medical examiners, “human stupidity equals job security.”I’ve made a good living from human stupidity, including from gun violence. Digging bullets out of bodies doesn’t bother me. But those...

DATE: Feb. 10, 2013 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Maybe it’s OK that DNA comes with strings attached

Recently, members of the National Association of Medical Examiners were asked to cooperate with a Mayo Clinic research project that would analyze the DNA of victims of unexpected infant death and...

DATE: Jan. 13, 2013 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Fetus dies in suicide attempt, is it murder?

In December 2010, Bei Bei Shuai, who was eight months pregnant at the time, swallowed rat poison when her boyfriend broke up with her.Doctors successfully treated Shuai and delivered her premature...

DATE: Nov. 11, 2012 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Trials murder on forensic pathologists

Most doctors in training who think they might want to be forensic pathologists never follow through.About one-third of all doctors who complete forensic training never become board certified in the...

DATE: Oct. 7, 2012 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

If firefighter dies in arson fire, is it felony murder?

A firefighter died of burns and smoke inhalation while battling an arson fire. Should his death be certified an accident or a homicide?That question was posed to the National Association of Medical...

DATE: Sept. 9, 2012 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

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