A final area to explore is impediments to change. Concerns have surfaced about the ME/C system for almost a century. Even though progress has been made, it seems to have stalled. Understanding impediments to change will help to rejuvenate the system. One impediment, reported by several speakers, is the lack of prestige associated with death investigations. Another raised by several speakers is the lack of advocacy and political support for the dead. Speaker Victor Weedn captured it best by characterizing the entire death investigation system as a political orphan. The emerging emphasis on mass disasters and bioterrorism has illuminated longstanding neglect of death investigations by the federal government despite the broad public need that has been highlighted by this workshop.

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