North Carolina has historically spent less than $1 per person, according to a retired chief medical examiner, Dr. John Butts.
The state has also contracted with two pathologists including Butts
to do autopsies on weekends.
said the move is meant to help the agency cope with short staffing until two new forensic pathologists are added early next year.
Butts, who was chief medical examiner from 1987 to 2010, said that when he was in charge, the office had six pathologists, including a fellow in training.
Because of a lack of staffing, Butts
carried a full clinical load, sometimes autopsying as many as seven bodies a day.
often handed over day-to-day administrative tasks to a dependable staffer.
State pathologists treated autopsies like triage, Butts
said, sometimes opting not to do one that is iffy.