Dr Waney Squier BSc.MBChB.FRCP.FRCPath Copyright Photo by Les Wilson 01722 78 457 les@leswilson.com 28th April.2011

Dr Waney Squier. Copyright Photo by Les Wilson. Photo courtesy of Daily Mail.

UK neuropathologist rejects theory of shaken baby syndrome

Irish Times


A UK neuropathologist has told the trial of a child-minder charged with assaulting a baby that shaken baby syndrome has no scientific validation.


Sandra Higgins at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. Photograph: Collins. Image courtesy of Irish Times.

Registered child-minder Sandra Higgins (34) is alleged to have caused the injuries to the 10-month-old baby she was minding at her home. The trial has reached its final stages and closing speeches will be made before the jury on Tuesday.

Ms Higgins of The Beeches, Drumgola Wood, Cavan town, Co Cavan has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to the baby on March 28th, 2012.

Defence witness Dr Waney Squier told Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, she supported the diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome up to 15 years ago.

“Only 15 years ago I too was making the diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome. I too was a believer in the belief that so many people in the area of child abuse believe in. I then began to question this,” she said.

She said she questioned it when a number of elements that supported the diagnosis were overturned by research. She said she began studying the scientific literature on the subject in great detail.

“I looked at many many cases of shaken baby syndrome,” she said. “I could no longer agree that this was a syndrome that had any scientific validation. I came to the view that I could not be sure this is a real syndrome.”

Read the full story here.

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