Seems like there are lots of cases where the coroner declares a 30-something year-old or a 20-something year-old who is apparently a hardcore drug user and/or otherwise seriously abuses his/her body had died “of natural causes.” What the hell is that about? I can understand wanting to protect the family from further pain and media attention and perhaps even increase their chances of recovering compensation from their insurance company. But doesn’t a coroner have a legal obligation to perform a conscientious investigation and announce an honest, professional, truthful opinion?
The latest case involves Corey Haim. I never heard of him till he died, but apparently he was a Canadian kid who got his big break in a few movies, got relatively rich and famous (for a kid), and then started seriously abusing all sorts of drugs, became totally obese, then thin again, then fat again, addicted, then rehabbed, then . . . he died “of natural causes” at age 38 with a slew of overprescribed drugs in his system and in his house.
[quote]Coroner: Corey Haim died of natural causes
Pneumonia, not drug abuse, killed actor Corey Haim, the Los Angeles County Coroner ruled in an autopsy report released Tuesday.
Although the investigation into Haim’s death began as a “suspected prescription medication overdose,” toxicology tests “revealed no significant contributing factors” from drugs, the coroner reported.
The autopsy found “an extremely large amount” of swelling in Haim’s lungs, it said.
The ruling that his death was not related to his well-publicized drug addiction confirmed what his mother and manager have insisted for weeks: that Haim, 38, did not overdose.
Haim died March 10 after collapsing at the Los Angeles apartment he shared with his mother.
Although the 1980s teen actor battled drug addiction for decades, his death came when Haim “was making major progress” with a program to wean him from pills, said his manager, Mark Heaslip.
Toxicology tests showed that Haim’s blood did have “low levels” of a list of drugs, including an antidepressant (Prozac), an antipsychotic (Olanzapine), diazepam (Valium), a muscle relaxer (Carisoprodol), a tranquilizer (meprobamate) and THC (a chemical in marijuana).
Haim also was taking a cough suppressant, antihistamine and ibuprofen.
“These medications are present in low levels and are non-contributory to death,” the autopsy report said.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown has used Haim’s death to publicize his enforcement efforts against illegal prescription drug use. At a news conference last month, Brown called Haim “the poster child” for the problem of addicts “doctor shopping” for dangerous drugs.
State investigators found that the former child actor obtained four dangerous drugs – including Vicodin, Valium, Soma and Xanax – just five days before he died, Brown said.
Brown launched an inquiry of what he said was Haim’s “doctor shopping” for drugs. Seven doctors gave him prescriptions for four controlled substances in the last 10 weeks of his life, Brown said.
Haim sometimes threatened to find other doctors to prescribe him drugs when his primary physician wouldn’t give him what he wanted, his manager said. . . .[/quote]
edition.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Mov … google_cnn
I don’t care about Corey Haim in particular. As I said, I only heard of him after he died.
I just wonder why coroners keep concluding in these types of cases that death was due to “natural causes” (recall, also, Paris Hilton’s young drug addict friend who died “of natural causes” a few months ago). It doesn’t seem natural for a 38 year-old to die of pneumonia. It seems even less natural when there’s clear evidence he was taking a shitload of drugs for a long time, including right up to the time of death.
Aren’t the coroner’s lying? Shouldn’t they be sworn to perform a professional job and state the truth?