post mortem

related resources


Students should be aware that websites often present only one view of an issue. Encourage students to think about and question websites as they are reviewing them. Some guiding questions they can use are: What did you learn from this site? What didn’t you learn from this site? Who sponsors this site? What bias might the sponsor have? How current is the site?


FRONTLINE: “Autopsy 101”
Read about the importance of autopsies and why so few people get one.

FRONTLINE: “Forensic Pathologists: The Death Detectives”
Find out what forensic pathologists do and why there are so few of them.

FRONTLINE: “How Qualified Is Your Coroner?”
Learn system variations from state to state and evaluate whether coroners should be replaced with medical examiners.

The Innocence Project: “Unvalidated or Improper Forensic Science”
This site describes how unvalidated or improper forensic science can lead to wrongful convictions. This page also links to a PDF summary of actual cases where this has happened.

ProPublica: Post Mortem—Death Investigation in America
FRONTLINE partner ProPublica provides additional data and analysis on death investigation, including autopsy statistics and information on how to investigate coroners and medical examiners.

National Public Radio: Post Mortem—Death Investigation in America
FRONTLINE partner NPR provides stories and analysis of how incompetent death investigations have sent innocent people to jail, frustrated families seeking answers about the deaths of loved ones, and more.



Post Mortem can be purchased from PBS Educational Media.

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