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The Medical Examiner System Should Replace the Traditional Coroner System

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Death is an elementary word harboring many meanings. It is the feeling of being caught in the grip of inevitably. It is a personal realization that you too are mortal. It is the recognition that one's life is changed forever. The shiny image of a once bright world full of promise dulls. Unfortunately, every individual will experience the death of a loved one at least once in their life. No words can soothe the agony of losing a loved one. State legislatures are familiar with this grief and have created either a coroner system or a medical examiner system. A coroner system consists of a coroner whose responsible for identifying the decreased body, alerting the family members or anyone of close relation, signing the death certificate and…show more content…
This method may have been sufficient in the 10th century when people were illiterate and believed the world was flat; however, the scientific world since then has grown exponentially. Science is a powerful study, aiding us in understanding the complex process life and the absence of life, death. Pathology, the science of disease, has assisted in the arrests of countless criminals, uncovering the truth and more notably providing a sense of closure for the loved ones of the deceased. A coroner system without the foundation of science is a system that keeps murders on the streets, the innocent behinds bars and prosecutors frozen in cases. The most memorable example of inefficiency is Dr. Paul McGarry, who made careless errors in not just one but four autopsies. In the case of new prison inmate Cayne Miceli, McGarry initially determined the cause of death to be a drug overdose. Upon the further examination, a second examiner found a heap of mucus in her lungs indicating she had severe asthma. The doctor then concluded the real cause of death was the jail restraints on her chest blocked her airways during an asthma attack (Thompson, 2011, para 13-16). A peculiar fact about the case was the McGarry concluded the cause of death before he got the test results. Could he had been trying to hide something? After all, he is an elected official which according to the NAS
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