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Friday, October 22, 2021

Late night update from the Bates County Coroner’s Office

I’ve been away at Coroner’s Convention and training most of this week so I’m getting caught up on paperwork. Deputy Coroner Miller handled cases while I was away and did an excellent job. You can probably imagine how busy the Coroner’s office has been since Covid, so there have been many of these late nights.]

But in the mail on my desk was a letter from Transplant Network. My office had handled a case in which the decedent wished to be an organ donor and I cooperated to facilitate the request. The letter tells me the end of the story. Where each organ went - the quality of each person’s life before transplant, and how they have been doing in their new life after transplant.
 
It’s not required that they do this. But I think somebody realized we usually have no idea what ever happened and I might like to know my extra efforts did positively affect somebody’s life. You see in Missouri, I can override organ donation if I think it would hinder or obstruct an investigation like an autopsy. But in almost all cases, I can accommodate the donation if I change some of the ways I do things. I try very hard to honor those wishes and almost never override them.
 
But getting letters like this, I always wind up reading every detail. It’s amazing the impact organ donation has and amazes me at the number of people who benefit. I always go back and retrieve the deceased person’s file and place the letter there. I don’t have to... but it just seems like the right thing to do.
 
I know the deceased’s family gets the letter too. I hope they know the impact of their choices. We are all here to help each other, after all.

Greg Mullinax
Coroner