Legal Experts: Shaken Baby Diagnosis Leads to “Destruction of Families Beyond Anything Comparable in the Modern History of the American Justice System”
Attorneys Randy Papetti, Paige Kaneb and Lindsay Herf have just published an article in Santa Clara Law Review exposing how the medical community representing Child Abuse Specialists are trying to convince the courts that Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) still has a "consensus" of support in the medical community. In the medical field of pediatrics, Child Abuse Specialists have increasingly been used by Child Protective Social Services (CPS) across the country to take children away from their parents based primarily on the examination of x-rays. The entire field of pediatric child abuse diagnoses has become very controversial, and all across the country parents and caregivers wrongly accused of child abuse by these pediatric Child Abuse Specialists are having their cases overturned, as the courts are recognizing the flaws in diagnosing SBS. The attorneys writing for the Santa Clara Law Review state: "Several serious and growing controversies surround a field of medicine known as child abuse pediatrics. One such controversy involves a diagnosis known as Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) or Abusive Head Trauma (AHT). The diagnosis is based on specific internal findings in a baby or young child’s head and eyes, which, when present, supposedly indicate that the child was violently shaken or otherwise subjected to inflicted head trauma. Within child abuse pediatrics, the diagnosis is endowed with a nearly iconic status and hailed as a critical discovery in our ability to identify abuse in very young children. But outside of child abuse pediatrics, the SBS/AHT diagnosis is very controversial. In fact, the scientific, medical, and legal literature overflow with challenges to the diagnosis’ reliability. And these challenges are not at the margins. Rather, the problems with the diagnosis may be so fundamental as to raise the specter of wrongful convictions and unfair destruction of families beyond anything comparable in the modern history of the American justice system."