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The National Association of Examining Physicians on Tuesday defended Hennepin County, Minnesota, the medical examiner’s report on the death of George Floyd and expressed doubts about the motives of two pathologists who performed an independent autopsy on Floyd.
The county released a report on Monday saying that Floyd’s death was a homicide, and Floyd “suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest while being held by law enforcement officers”.
On Monday, forensic scientist Michael Baden and doctor Allecia Wilson, pathologist at the University of Michigan medical school, who were hired by the Floyd family, said that Floyd died from asphyxia caused by compression injuries.
Reports differed on the potential contribution to Floyd’s death from underlying causes, including high blood pressure and clogged arteries. The county medical examiner listed them, along with the use of fentanyl and methamphetamine, as additional conditions. Baden said at a press conference on Monday that he and Wilson found no evidence of heart or blood disease and said they did not think substances in Floyd’s blood would be relevant to his death .
The forensic pathologists association defended the inclusion of these conditions in the autopsy.
“While the public may be concerned about the inclusion of underlying natural illnesses and drug intoxication as” contributing to death “on Mr. Floyd’s death certificate, it is common practice for medical examiners, “the group wrote in a statement.
“Death is a complex process and often occurs with multiple contributing causes, including physiological stress caused by physical altercations. Therefore, the list of all provides a more complete statement of the cause of death. “
Forensic pathologists “unlike private pathologists, are not encouraged to offer a certain point of view,” said the group.
“Minneapolis chief medical examiner, Dr. Andrew Baker, is one of the most highly regarded and esteemed forensic pathologists in the United States,” added the group.
“He is a former president of NAME and known for his expertise and integrity.”