More could help hiring a medical examiner

(Steve) Simpson has tried to hire qualified forensic pathologists, only to have the last one he hired resign shortly after being hired for health reasons. Mississippi’s reputation for political volatility between the state’s elected coroners and the prior state medical examiners has made Mississippi a difficult state to staff with forensic pathologists.

Meanwhile, the autopsy backlog grows and the quality of death investigation suffers.

State Rep. Steve Holland’s HB 922 would actually be a help to the commissioner in broadening the base of national searches for qualified pathologists. It would also give all the stakeholders in the selection of a medical examiner a say in the decision.

New Mexico is operating under such a system with success.

Our state should try it.

Sid Salter
Clarion Ledger
1/23/11