As many hospitals have struggled with a deluge of COVID-19 patients, which at times has prompted patients with other severe conditions to avoid hospitals if they feel they can, there’s a fear that non-COVID deaths will increase during the pandemic. A recent paper in BMJ looks at what the data so far suggests while noting we don’t know enough yet to draw conclusions. Continue reading
In early 2014, a 4-year-old Dallas boy named Salomon Barahona Jr. died after undergoing sedation for a dental procedure.
The child’s death spurred Dallas Morning News reporter Brooks Egerton to embark upon what turned out to be a major reporting project – an 18-month investigation of dental safety in the United States.
Egerton sifted through thousands of records detailing patient harm and endangerment drawn from many sources: state and federal regulators, police, coroners, academic researchers, courts, litigators, insurers, dental schools and dentists themselves. Continue reading
The Marion Brechner Citizen Access Project at the University of Florida College of Communications has posted an online guide to access to autopsy records, which are not open records in about half the states and the District of Columbia, according to Ana-Klara Anderson, J.D., Ph.D.
Where the records are public, they are mired in exemptions that limit public access. Anderson, writing for Quill, the magazine of the Society of Professional Journalists, points out that autopsy records are important for reporting on public health and safety issues as well as crime and other issues.
Anderson, a former researcher for the Marion Brechner Citizen Access Project and a member of the SPJ Freedom of Information Committee, provides more details about exemptions and case law on the subject.