Saturday, 12 March 2016

Shaken babies

"The majority view is that a combination of three brain injuries - known as the triad - must be present: swelling of the brain, bleeding between the skull and the brain, and bleeding in the retina."

"Dr Squier holds a minority view that these injuries can occur in other ways, for example through a baby suffering injuries while falling over. "

"Having once been an expert witness for the prosecution, Dr Squier switched to the defence team. "

"Her friends argue she is now subject to a witch hunt. But an independent panel has found she overstepped the boundaries of what is expected of an expert witness."

"Panorama: Shaken Babies: What's the Truth? on Monday 14 March at 20:30 GMT on BBC One."

This case has serious implications for expert witnesses and for families.


"The decision today does nothing to deliver justice to devastated families whose children have suffered intracranial injuries," says Carrie Sperling, co-director of the Wisconsin Innocence Project aimed at preventing miscarriages of justice. "Instead, it ignores the issue at the heart of the matter that experts cannot diagnose abusive head trauma with any degree of reliability. Squier has provided a scientific perspective in an area fraught with emotion, a lack of objectivity and a demand for easy answers."

"In 2010, another researcher challenging the triad, Marta Cohen a pathologist at Sheffield Children’s Hospital in the UK was summoned by the UK General Medical Council but cleared of any wrongdoing."

" `I suspect there will be no one in England willing to dispute allegations of shaken baby syndrome now the finding against [Squier] is unfavourable,` says Edward Willey, a forensic pathologist in St Petersburg, Florida. `Opposition is eliminated.` "


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