“An expose reveals trouble at the morgue”, writes Rachael Zimmerman in CommonHealth.
An experienced journalist and writer, a published author and staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal covering health and medicine, Zimmerman took on the debacle of medical examiners in an investigative article.
An expose of the nation’s coroners and medical examiners finds startling evidence that those “detectives of death” are presiding over a “deeply dysfunctional” system that quite literally buries its mistakes.
Blunders by doctors in America’s morgues have put innocent people in prison cells, allowed the guilty to go free, and left some cases so muddled that prosecutors could do nothing.
The Massachusetts medical examiner’s office has cremated a corpse before police could determine if the person had been murdered; misplaced bones; and lost track of at least five bodies”.
Other investigations into dysfunctional medical examiners have made similar bizarre discoveries. A box of human bones was discovered by a morgue employee while cleaning out a cooler. The bones belonged to a body that had been sent to a funeral home for burial two years earlier.
A question comes to mind, didn’t the funeral director miss body parts?
The same forensic anthropologist, Ann Marie Mires, forgot another container of bones that were left in her office after a body had been released for burial, according to a report by Fiercel Healthcare.
Governor Deval Patrick fired a previous chief medical examiner Dr. Mark Flomenbaum, when his staff ‘temporarily misplaced a body’.
Mires has received previous warnings and instructions for the proper handling and accounting for human remains, according to Terrel Harris, Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety.
However, Mires blames her mistakes on “a failure in the system” that is “still broken”. She was dismissed for her incompetence.
Regardless of how incompetent, corrupt or unqualified a medical examiner may be, there is no recourse since they cannot be sued for their negligence. They are protected behind the brick wall of political protection.
Wouldn’t it seem logical that more attention to detail and responsibility would be the result of removing the shield from public liability and requiring the same accountability as any other medical practitioner?
These public employees have the power to prosecute innocent people, selectively prosecute the guilty and can cover up evidence at will – and there is nothing the public can do.
Time for an overhaul of this system.
- Coroner qualifications; virtually non-existent in most jurisdictions (justiceforraymond.wordpress.com)
- NYC Medical Examiner Probes Stillborn Mix-Up (abcnews.go.com)
- US medical examiner investigates after couple buries wrong baby in Poland (theprovince.com)
- Who regulates coroner, medical examiners and their facilities? (justiceforraymond.wordpress.com)
- Medical examiner says man died at lake from drowning (rep-am.com)
- Virginia Medical Examiner Seeks To Solve Murders Through Unidentified Bones Found In Bank Boxes (washington.cbslocal.com)
- County medical examiner to announce retirement (suntimes.com)
- Chicago Morgue Slammed With 21 Safety… – ABC News (drugstoresource.wordpress.com)