Position: Coroner’'s Report

Email: chuser@durangoherald.com

Did Texas mother smother child? Jury’s tough call

A Lufkin, Texas, jury convicted Vanessa Clark, a 33-year-old mother, of felony child endangerment after Tristan, her 2-month-old son, died while sleeping in bed with Clark and her husband. Another...

DATE: Aug. 12, 2012 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Fair? Despite new medical opinion, no new trial

“Half of what we will teach you in medical school will, by the time you are done practicing, be proved wrong,” said Dr. Mehmet Oz, one of Oprah Winfrey’s health experts, when a Time magazine...

DATE: July 8, 2012 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

What’s proper for DNA database – autopsy blood?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in March signed the “all crimes” law that requires any person convicted of a felony or one of 36 misdemeanors, including fare-jumping and shoplifting, to submit a DNA sample to...

DATE: June 10, 2012 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Whitney Houston: Questions that must be asked

I have a picture of Dr. Charles Hirsch, chief medical examiner of New York City, in the bathtub. That which should not be seen is hidden by the side of the tub, but he appears to be wearing nothing...

DATE: May 13, 2012 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Dead people tell no lies – and can’t testify, either

A Wisconsin judge recently ruled that only the forensic pathologist who autopsied a person shot 10 times in 2003 could testify about his autopsy report in the murder trial. He wouldn’t allow...

DATE: April 8, 2012 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

The autopsy dissected: It’s an imperfect art

“I make canoes,” said Dr. Stewart Dawson, an associate medical examiner in Suffolk County, N.Y., when I trained there as a forensic pathologist. With impish gallows humor, he was referring to the...

DATE: March 11, 2012 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

There’s no easy conclusion from the SIDS debate

A recent paper in Academic Forensic Pathology discussed the “prevailing false concept that SIDS is a real and discrete diagnostic entity ...”The paper titled “The Death of SIDS” suggests SIDS, or...

DATE: Feb. 12, 2012 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

DNA helps case, leads daughter, boyfriend to jail

“You’re a long-coat doctor now,” Chief Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch said, distinguishing between the short jackets of students and the thigh-length white coat that identifies a fully trained...

DATE: Dec. 11, 2011 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

‘Homicide’ was the correct call, despite the critics

According to a story in TheDenver Post, Alonzo Ashley, 29, “claimed to be a lion before he tackled and beat a zoo guard.”When police officers tried to restrain Ashley, he resisted. The Post reports...

DATE: Nov. 13, 2011 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Medical alert more important than most think

“Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”This phrase – a television ad for a medical alert device with a button you can push to summon for help – has become a pop-culture joke. It’s funny, but also...

DATE: Oct. 9, 2011 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Doctor-to-doctor favor gets a little too complicated

Sometimes medical examiners do favors for friends, and sometimes they regret it.Dr. Wallace Graves Jr., my predecessor in Florida, was district medical examiner when the population was smaller and...

DATE: Sept. 11, 2011 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Professional killer: The fear of being wrong

Dr. Joan Wood, former district (chief) medical examiner in St. Petersburg, Fla., died last month at 67. In the years after she resigned under pressure, Dr. Wood became a recluse. Neighbors rarely...

DATE: Aug. 7, 2011 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

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