Fatally Flawed: Experts: N.C. medical examiner system needs overhaul

An Observer investigation reveals in North Carolina medical examiners have little or no training, rarely go to death scenes and sometimes don’t even view bodies – basic steps in a competent investigation. Autopsies, considered the most reliable tool to find out why someone died, are performed far less often than within the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which is considered one of the nation’s most respected operations.

Experts say North Carolina should embrace practices from Maryland and other offices accredited by the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME).

NAME sets standards for investigating suspicious deaths, performing autopsies, training and facilities. North Carolina is not accredited. The Observer looked at how North Carolina's medical examiner system compares to other states in part four of our Fatally Flawed series, the most comprehensive analysis of state death rulings ever conducted

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Read the full "Fatally Flawed" series at www.charlotteobserver.com/examiners/