Even casual followers of the SBS saga are familiar with the Audrey Edmunds case. Audrey was convicted and imprisoned for the shaking death of an infant in her care. She spent 11 years in a maximum security prison until Keith Findley and the Wisconsin Innocence Project succeeded in having her conviction overturned, and she was exonerated.
The American Bar Association Journal from Dec., 2011 has an article that provides a good summary of the case. See that article here. The article will also give you some idea of how entrenched SBS theory is in the US medical community and justice system. For example, to this day, the prosecutor in the case is still convinced that Audrey murdered that infant.
On Dec. 10, 2012, Audrey and Keith are scheduled to appear on the daytime talk show “Katie” with Katie Couric. 3:00 PM Eastern time on ABC. This should be one to put on your calendar. The appearance was originally scheduled for Dec. 6, but pending any further schedule change, it is now set for Dec. 10.
Reblogged this on Upside Down.
You do a disservice to abused children. SBS does exist, I know first hand. My grandson was shaken at 3 weeks old and sustained permanent brain damage. He fought for his life and won, however he will never grow up and get married or have a family of his own, and most likely will never even be able to live on his own. The monster who did it walks free to live his life, and my grandson is confined to the prison of being a toddler the rest of his life. Being an active member of the SBS community, there are plenty of stories where the abuser admitted to shaking the infant, and the injuries are always the same, it is only their effect that is different. And this Edmunds woman, I don’t know her, but she was not exonnerated. They simply chose not to retry her in order to spare the family of going through the grief – again. I do know plenty of “good” people have shaken babies after snapping. Hours of endless crying can take it’s toll on patience. That is why education about the harm shaking a baby can cause is so important. But you take away from all that by suggesting it doesn’t really exist. Shame on you.
Thank you for your comment. The fact that your grandson sustained permanent debilitating injury is nothing short of tragic.
Are there people who kill their children or cause them long term injury by abusive head trauma? Unfortunately, yes. However, the presence of “triad symptoms” as pathognomonic of abusive head trauma is just not scientifically supported, despite the beliefs that some medical practitioners still cling to.
It may be easy and quick for some doctors and the justice system to say “triad symptoms – has to be abusive head trauma”, but there are a bunch of other things that can cause triad symptoms, and there IS such a thing as “lucid interval”. I’ve been involved in too many cases in which a caregiver has not only lost a child, but has also been sent to prison, when they never did anything.
Should people be educated about not abusing their babies? Of course. But I’m sorry – I cannot accept your “shame”.
So then, how do you explain abusive head trauma that occurs with only the “triad” and no other illnesses are present? To those, including you, who say you cannot cause severe brain injury to an infant by simply shaking him/her, I say “shake YOUR baby and show me how much you believe that”. Of course I don’t really want you to do that, but I know you wouldn’t, because you don’t believe in your “lack of scientific proof” enough to jeopardize the life of your child. By the way, it IS absolutely scientifically supported, this very thing was discussed at this year’s SBS conference in Boston. It is just a few on the fringe who believe otherwise, and coincidentally (?) they all seem to work for defense attorneys. Go figure.
The mainstream medical community is not in debate over the existence of SBS, only people on the fringe hired by legal experts driven by the motive of defending their clients in a court of law are debating it. Medical fact and science should not be debated in a court of law, it should be left in the hand of actual scientists and credible medical professionals. It is incredibly irresponsible to perpetuate this myth that SBS doesn’t exist and extremely insulting to families devastated by it. There is a plethora of scientific evidence substantiating SBS and countless confessions from actual perpetrators. Like any crime it is incredibly possible for our corrupt ineffective justice system to wrongfully convict someone of a crime, but it is not grounds for making wild accusations that the type of crime itself doesn’t exist. Why is it that multiple historical physicians (Ingraham, Caffey, Guthkelch, Silverman, Kempe to name only a few), separated by significant geographical distance, in unrelated, various fields of medical study, and with no social or medical inclination to make these findings of SBS, collectively found the same associated findings?
Here is a listing of the various international and domestic medical organizations that have publicly acknowledged the validity of AHT as a medical diagnosis:
1. The World Health Organization
2. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
3. The Royal College of Radiologists
4. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists
5. The Canadian Paediatric Society
6. The American Academy of Pediatrics
7. The American Academy of Ophthalmology
8. The American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
9. The American College of Radiology
10. The American Academy of Family Physicians
11. The American College of Surgeons
12. The American Association of Neurologic Surgeons
13. The Pediatric Orthapaedic Society of North America
14. The American College of Emergency Physicians
15. The American Academy of Neurology
AHT has been tested or subjected to the scientific rigors of falsifiability by multiple disciplines and multiple methods. It has also been studied by multiple researchers from multiple nations. AHT is the most peer-reviewed and well-published topic in child abuse pediatrics. It is quite difficult to assert the diagnosis of AHT has not been subjected to the rigors of scientific falsifiability, stringently peer reviewed or well published.
On the flip side, the “evidence” against SBS is based off of incredibly flawed “science” and poorly designed studies. Geddes’ study didn’t even examine or comment on retinal hemorrhages and their results weren’t even statistically acceptable. In 2007 Cohen and Scheimberg supported the same hypothesis, but once again no examination or comment was made on the concurrent presence or absences of RH. Both of these studies did not account for the confounding variable of the known fact that birth trauma is a cause of SDH and the patient cohert was not similar to the age of patients commonly involved in AHT. There are only a handful of published studies claiming to debunk SBS and it is not difficult to find incredible flaws in these studies and results that don’t meet standards for being statistically acceptable. A well spoken attorney misleading a jury of common people with no scientific background is not proof of anything.
Lastly, I find it incredibly paranoid and ridiculous to insinuate that thousands of credible medical professionals and scientists have ignored or failed to acknowledge evidence against SBS. Scientists would love nothing more than to discover new or earth shattering information, that is their ultimate career goal. Yet, they all have consciously chosen to substantiate something that doesn’t exist? For what purpose?
So yes, it is incredibly irresponsible of you to perpetuate your myth. Please do me a favor and go shake your child. If you are so confident in your flawed data then you should not hesitate to do so.
Thank you Krysta for this very well thought out and informative post!
They did not say SBS does not exist, just simply that the triad symptoms can be caused by other reasons, not just SBS. Also they were making the point that those symptoms are not always immediately seen, that there can be hours or days from the time of cause to death. They never denied the fact that SBS exists, just that the presence of those triad symptoms alone are not enough to say definatively when , how or what happened to cause the death.
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