Maryland Medical Examiner Resigns Amid Backlog of Autopsies

Dr. Victor Weedn
George Washington University

Maryland’s chief medical examiner resigned Friday amid a backlog of autopsies and the departures of staff members.

Dr. Victor Weedn wrote in a short email that his resignation was effective Friday, according to Bruce Goldfarb, a spokesperson for the medical examiner's office.

The Maryland Post Mortem Examiners Commission announced that Dr. Pamela Southall will serve as the interim chief, effective immediately.

“The Post Mortem Examiners Commission welcomes Dr. Southall and looks forward to her leadership at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) during a critical time,” the commission said in a news release.

In recent weeks, the health department has coordinated with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide assistance from additional pathology professionals.

“In her new role, Dr. Southall will lead the office’s efforts to review caseloads and work begun by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to recruit forensic pathologists and secure additional resources for the office while maintaining efficient operations,” the commission said in a news release.

The medical examiner's office sought help earlier this month in managing a backlog of more than 200 bodies awaiting autopsies. The backlog began in mid-December but has gotten significantly worse since then.

The office is responsible for determining the cause and manner of death if a person is not under the care of a physician or if the death is unexpected or occurs under suspicious or unusual circumstances.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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