Monday, May 5, 2008

So why have medical examiners at all?

This pisses me off on a personal and professional level. In my career I have assisted in autopsies (and arranged for a couple of teenagers who drove drunk to watch a couple that were performed on people who died driving drunk) so when a judge orders an ME to scrub facts from their findings, it cuts to the heart of our professional ethics, and every member of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists should be up in arms right now.
A Summit County Common Pleas judge ordered the county medical examiner to delete any reference that Tasers contributed to the deaths of three Ohio men.

All three men were in an 'agitated' state and 'on drugs' when police officers shot them with Tasers, and the judge ordered their deaths be ruled 'accidental' also that any reference to "homicide or "electrical pulse stimulation" should be deleted from death certificates and autopsy reports."

Five sheriff's deputies had been indicted on charges related to the death of one of the men, who also had a history of mental illness. The judge further ordered that man's death be ruled as "undetermined" and to "delete any references to homicide and the death possibly being caused by asphyxia, beatings or other factors."

The court hearing centered around the "very narrow issue" of whether or not the use of the Taser Model X26 could contributed in any way to the cause of death.

So again I ask...Why even bother with doing the autopsy and writing the report if the judge is just going to reject the findings and order the report altered - in such a way that moneyed interests that might face liability are suddenkly in a lot less peril of facing accountability.

Got fascism?

When courts operate in the interests of corporations instead of citizens, you sure as fuck do.

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