Post Mortem on Post Mortems

Not that people are dying to have this done, but British Columbia has the
lowest autopsy rate in Canada.

As a result, too many deaths and possible homicides are not being

The rate of autopsies in BC dropped from 30 per cent in 2006 to 19.2 percent
in 2012.
The highest rate of autopsies occurs in the North West Territories and
Newfoundland at 42 percent.

The average rate in the rest of Canada is about 35 per cent.

The B.C. Coroners Service budget has steadily been cut to $11.7 million this
year from $17.3 million in 2008/09.

Lisa Lapointe ,Chief Coroner, Province of British Columbia said in a
statement issued to respond to this
situation, that police officers and coroners are routinely called to the
scene of sudden and unexpected deaths.

³Each death is initially treated as suspicious until foul play can be ruled
out, unless a death is due
to natural causes of a person under the care of a physician. The Coroners
Service does not 
have legal jurisdiction to investigate these.

In any other death, both police and the coroner will undertake a thorough
review of the circumstances of the death
before determining that there is no evidence of foul play. If foul play is
suspected, a criminal investigation by police is launched.

Autopsy decisions are made in consultation with the regional coroner after
carefully and objectively considering all available information," said
Lapointe. " An autopsy will be ordered if cause of death cannot be
established though examination of the scene, body and history. Where the
preponderance of evidence gathered clearly supports a cause of death, an
autopsy will not be undertaken."

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