News & Information

Death Investigations

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Nov 10, 2020 9:00 pm
  • 15:04

Guest: Gregory Davis, Forensic Pathologist, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Chief Medical Examiner, Jefferson County, Alabama Autopsies are a critical tool for public health officials tracking the COVID-19 pandemic–how far it’s spread, how deadly it is, how it harms the body. But the system of doing death investigations differs from state to state. In fact, in some places, the coroner responsible for declaring a patient’s cause of death isn’t required to have any medical training at all. In some places, coroners are elected, so politics and public opinion can influence their decisions–say if there’s pressure to downplay the deadliness of the virus.