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The Boston Globe

Metro

State lags in testing for causes of deaths

A cost-cutting measure by the state medical examiner’s office has caused extensive delays in determining the cause of unexplained deaths, creating a backlog of hundreds of cases and leaving some families waiting several months for answers.

Since last July, the time it takes for the office to generate post-mortem toxicology test results has increased eightfold, from an average of two weeks to about four months, making it difficult for relatives to collect insurance benefits, close out estates, and come to understand how their loved one died.

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