© 2023 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Conn. Medical Examiner Office To Lose Its Accreditation

Linda Bartlett
Courtesy of the National Cancer Institute

Connecticut’s Chief Medical Examiner Dr. James Gill says his office is about to lose its national accreditation because it doesn’t have enough forensic pathologists and other specialists on staff.

The National Association of Medical Examiners requires that a pathologist do no more than 325 autopsies, but in Connecticut, the state’s seven forensic pathologists conduct more than that, which is why the office stands to lose its accreditation in January and be placed on a one-year probation.

Gill says his office doesn’t have the money to hire new staff. The office saw some pretty heavy budget cuts this year as lawmakers tried to close a deficit.

Gill has also attributed the extra workload to a sharp increase in fatal drug overdoses. A total of 729 people died of opioid-related overdoses in 2015, and Gill says he expects that number to be near 900 for 2016.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.