Orlando Florida , 2/12/04: A huge media stir has arisen in central Florida. Based upon review of the Complaint filed by the Yurkos, the Florida Medical Examiner's Commission has barred Orange and Osceola County medical examiner Shashi B. Gore from conducting further autopsies. The decision came after a Commission meeting in Orlando on 12 February.
Francine Yurko has been inundated with media calls and requests for interviews. As is her wont, the fiery YP founder has jumped to the task, and also intends to contact the Commission to see that an additional incontrovertible aspect of the Complaint will be added to the list. Her work over the years, after being devastated by the events and circumstances surrounding the death of baby Alan, has been instrumental in turning things around.
Not all particulars of the Complaint were validated (8 out of 25). But the Commission agreed with core aspects, any one of which would have been problematic for Gore. The disciplinary action was unprecedented in the history of the statewide medical examiner's system (established in 1970).
The Commission said that if Gore were not poised to retire in June, they would have removed him from office. The logic of that was explained in a 14 Feb. Orlando Sentinel article quoting commission chairman Dr. Stephen J. Nelson: "Had he been removed or suspended, he could have appealed it, and the appellate process could have gone on way beyond his retirement date." Thus, it appears the Commission is determined to "do right."
How the State will respond to this development in the Yurko appeal is still a question mark. Obviously, it is in a position of considerable potential embarrassment. The Commission didn't deliberate or comment on Gore's conclusion that baby Alan was shaken.
An article in the 13 Feb Orlando Sentinel quoted State Attorney Lawson Lamar with the cautious statement, "We're going to look at the facts and go back and see if there's anything that should concern us." The paper also said that his staff has assured him there were no problems with the conviction. By the time this is over, he may be looking for a new "staff" or two :-)
As one might expect, Gore has been defending himself, stating that cause of death should stand, despite the Commission's reprimand. However, he dodged media attempts to ask him further questions. Matthiew Seibel, MD, also the subject of a Yurko complaint, made a similar statement to a local news service in Orlando.
Well, they may go down kicking, but go down they will.
So, YP supporters, rejoice! As we say in the vernacular, this is a biggie!
ALSO NOTE: The Department of Health, to which we also sent Complaints, and which had a visit months ago from Francine, is due to publicize its findings in the near future. We will keep you posted.<>
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