Posted: Apr 3, 2011 8:47 AM by AP posted By James H Egbert
DENVER (AP) - Colorado lawmakers are nearing agreement on the state's first uniform standards for which deaths get an autopsy.
The state currently has no law detailing which deaths require a forensic autopsy. Colorado's 63 coroners are mostly elected, not appointed, and the posts have minimal requirements. To qualify, one must be over 18 with a high school diploma or equivalent. Medical
training is required later, but it isn't a prerequisite.
Colorado spells out which deaths call for a coroner to "investigate" - but not necessarily order a forensic autopsy. Death investigators say that in some cash-strapped counties, autopsies are rare unless a crime is suspected.
Lawmakers seem to agree standards are needed, but lawmakers rejected a proposal to consider eliminating the old coroner system altogether.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)