New Mexico – It can be difficult enough when family members are told a deceased loved one's body must be sent to Albuquerque for an autopsy. Now they'll be told they have to pay to get the body back.
And for families in far-flung areas of the state, that will cost hundreds of dollars.
The Office of the Medical Investigator blames state budget cuts for the policy change, which takes effect July 1.
New Mexico Funeral Association President Michael Hass says the charge is unethical.
The Chief Medical Investigator tells the Albuquerque Journal that his office caseload has increased and utility costs associated with a new facility have escalated.
The medical examiner's office is expected to conduct 2,100 autopsies this year, roughly half from outside Albuquerque.
Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.