A disputed diagnosis imprisons parents
Debbie Cenziper of the Washington Post, after a year-long investigation in conjunction with the Medill Justice Project, has written an article addressing the controversy surrounding the diagnosis of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS).
This is the most comprehensive general publication article on the subject I have seen, and she interviewed people on both sides of the issue. I have extracted some selected quotes:
Dr. Patrick Lantz: “If doctors see retinal hemorrhages, they say it’s abuse, but it’s as scientific as a fortuneteller reading tea leaves.”
Dr. George Nichols: “Shaken Baby Syndrome is a belief system rather than an exercise in modern-day science.” “My greatest worry is that I have deprived someone of justice because I have been overtly biased or just mistaken.”
Dr. Jonathon Arden: “A lot of people in this field, especially many of the pediatricians, make statements that are absolute and dogmatic and do not allow for the exceptions that we know exist. Do you want to be involved in somebody’s wrongful conviction because you had this dogmatic approach that it must be trauma, it must be shaking?”
Dr. Patrick Barnes: “All of the treating physicians simply assumed trauma and stopped looking for alternative explanations. That is not sound science and cannot be the basis of a reliable prosecution.”
Dr. Jan Leestma: “The original papers that espoused Shaken Baby were basically opinion papers with essentially no science applied to them.”
Dr. Norman Guthkelch: “I am doing what I can so long as I have a breath to correct a grossly unjust situation. I think they’ve gone much too far.”
See the Washington Post article here.