Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bulletin: Dr. Evan Matshes: "Provincial officials refute pathologist’s defence of ‘unreasonable’ findings." Calgary Herald.

STORY: "Provincial officials refute pathologist’s defence of ‘unreasonable’ findings," by reporter Jason Van Rassel, published in the Calgary Herald on November 30, 2012.

GIST: "An expert panel that reviewed and called into question a former Calgary pathologist’s findings had access to the same evidence he did, provincial officials said Friday. A review of several cases handled by Dr. Evan Matshes has cast doubt on his findings in several Calgary-area homicide cases, prompting prosecutors to re-examine the evidence. Matshes is defending his findings, and said in an emailed statement that the three-member panel that reviewed his work based at least some of its conclusions on incomplete records......... “In some of the cases in which my conclusions were found to be unreasonable, the panel did not appear to have the entire file which was available to me at the time I wrote the autopsy report,” said Matshes, who is currently chief of pediatric forensic pathology at the office of the medical examiner at the University of New Mexico.........Alberta Justice and Solicitor General officials said Thursday a three-member panel of pathologists it commissioned to review Matshes’ findings in 14 cases found his conclusions “unreasonable” in 13 of them. A department spokesman offered details on Friday of how the panel conducted its review. saying it had used the same documents Matshes had when he conducted his investigation. “The panel was provided with the same material in the original files as when the original medical examiner’s work was completed,” said Jason Maloney. The panel re-examined Matshes’ work on 13 death investigations and one case involving a living patient who was injured. Although 11 cases weren’t criminal, one was a homicide case that has been concluded and two others remain before the courts. During his 13 months working at the Calgary medical examiner’s offices, Matshes conducted 426 death investigations: 262 autopsies and 164 external exams. Matshes handled 14 criminal deaths that weren’t part of the panel’s review, but are now being scrutinized by prosecutors in light of the questions it raised. Provincial authorities went public with concerns about Matshes’ work in February, after an insurance company raised questions about his findings in an accidental death case. That prompted an internal probe that led to officials sending three of Matshes’ files to U.S. pathologists for peer review. The peer reviewers said “evidence did not support the conclusions” in two instances, prompting the larger-scale audit involving 14 of Matshes’ cases." The findings surprised many familiar with Matshes, who is a board-certified forensic pathologist.........The three members of the U.S. panel that reviewed Matshes’ work are all board-certified in forensic pathology, as well as anatomic pathology.
Provincial officials first recruited Dr. Mary Gilliland, a professor at East Carolina University, to head the three-person panel. Gilliland selected the two remaining panellists, Dr. Michael Ward, the chief medical examiner for Greenville County, S.C., and Dr. Lynda Biedrzycki, the medical examiner for Waukesha County, Wis."

The entire story can be found at:


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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.