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Coroner clarification

By rgordon
Monday, February 19th, 2007 at 5:56 pm in Uncategorized.

Nicholas PiconLest there be any confusion, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault released a statement Monday to clarify that only a heart defect caused the death of Nicholas Picon (pictured here), a 23-year-old from Daly City who died in October.

After Picon’s body was returned to his family sans his heart, he became the central story in a push for a change in law to require coroners to notify families that they may retain body parts for training or investigation.
(See earlier stories: “Mullin backs bill on body parts,” “Families decry use of organ retention” and “Supe seeks body parts rule change”)

When the story came out in early February, a statement reported elsewhere _ and attributed to Foucrault _ said that the Coroner’s Office might retain body parts, for example, to help determine cause in a potential drug-related death.

Concerned that this might make her son’s death appear to be drug-related. Selina Picon, Nicholas’ mother, got the coroner to release a statement of clarification to the media.

“There was no evidence whatsoever that Mr. Picon’s death was caused by controlled substances,” Foucrault said in the statement. “Although my comments to the press about controlled substances were not about Nicholas Picon, I realize that some may have interpreted them to be and I regret that this confusion was created. Nicholas Picon died from a rare but natural cause _ a type of heart defect _ and it is important for me to make that very clear.”

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