More Hayne Fallout

Monday, October 8th, 2007

I’ve been told by a couple of people now that there’s been quite a bit of chatter on the National Association of Medical Examiners’ listserv about the two Hayne WSJ and reason pieces. Coincidentally, NAME’s annual conference kicks off this week (and yes, the timing is entirely coincidental–this article has been in the works for for the better part of a year).

Several medical examiners I spoke with for the article expressed their disappointment that NAME hasn’t been more aggressive about policing it’s members for people like Dr. Hayne. While Hayne never was and never could be “accredited” by NAME, he is a “member” of the group, and can claim membership as part of his credentials when testifying in court. Unfortunately, many judges and most juries don’t realize that membership doesn’t equal accreditation. The NAME officials I spoke with over the last several months said as troubled as they are by Hayne’s practices, and that he’s able to use their organization’s name to establish credibility, only something akin to perjury could compel them to revoke a membership.

The outspoken Dr. Vincent DiMaio, author of the leading textbook on forensic pathology, told me that one barrier to NAME reigning in rogues like Hayne is that members may be loathe to put caps on the total number of allowable autopsies, because that would also mean a cap on potential income. Even in a case as outrageous as Hayne’s, where the total number is astronomical, they’re reluctant to get the ball rolling in that direction. There’s also a general fear of Hayne’s litigious reputation.

But perhaps that’s changing. I’ve been told that there’s quite a bit of buzz about Hayne in NAME circles right now, leading at least one source to raise the possibility that NAME may investigate or take disciplinary action against him.

More to come.

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