Post Mortem: Death Investigation in America

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Frontline correspondent Lowell Bergman discusses "Post Mortem," a collaborative investigation by Frontline, ProPublica, and NPR that discovered a dysfunctional autopsy system with few standards and little oversight. Errors by coroners and forensic pathologists have allowed potentially guilty perpetrators to go free and the innocent to be accused of crimes they didn’t commit. "Post Mortem" airs February 1, on PBS at 9 pm.


Lowell Bergman

Comments [4]

Versie from Miami

That's very interesting and very true. Lots of criminals got away because of coroner mistakes. I'd love to see this one and their private investigations into this matter. It should prove to be entertaining and I'm really interested to see what alternatives do they have in mind.

Mar. 03 2011 07:15 AM
Mom in NJ from Bergen County

Leonard, thank you for keeping me informed about my world. Just watched the Frontline show that I otherwise would have never known about. With all the financial issues governments are facing I can see how this C/ME can be underfunded and forgotten since "dead people don't vote".

Feb. 02 2011 11:40 AM
Richard Leavitt from Hartsdale, NY

A rational factor in the long decline in autopsy rates may be that autopsies used to be very valuable for purposes of learning -- for example, revealing diagnoses missed in life and contributing to death or even primarily causing it -- but their value has diminished in recent decades because of major advances in noninvasive diagnostic imaging that identify a wide range of disease processes during life, leaving much less to be discovered by postmortem examinations.

Feb. 02 2011 12:54 AM
Robert graf from nyc

Investigative Discovery ran an episode Sunday night about a Wisconsin teen who kidnapped a neighbor boy and broke his legs and feet. During the torture the teen told the boy of other victims. Christian Steiner was a victim whose body was found in a river months after his death. No x rays were take of the boys body so no one knew he was murdered. If they had done so it's likely that the teen would have been arrested.

Feb. 01 2011 12:29 PM

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