Coming This Summer: A Conference at the Front Lines

The Bayne family, celebrating their reunion in August of 2011

Paul and Zabeth Bayne spent four years fighting accusations that they’d shaken their infant daughter, four desolate years in the lives of their children. They won their battle in August of 2011, when all four of their children were returned home, including the baby, who had been removed from his parents at birth and then spent the first six months of his life in foster care.

From the beginning, Paul and Zabeth Bayne took their struggle to the public. Reporter Kathy Tomlinson with the Canadian Broadcasting Company wrote baldly last winter in a summary news story, “In 2008, after the parents protested publicly about the baby’s removal, the government seized their two boys, then about four and three years old, for involving them in the publicity.”

But Zabeth Bayne kept speaking out, and she started organizing: By chance, in the same month that her children returned home last summer, she was also hosting her first conference for professionals and parents fighting false accusations of child abuse.

Having survived that logistical challenge, she’s organized another conference this summer, August 3 & 4 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Her list of speakers includes forensic pathologist extraordinaire Dr. John Plunkett; attorney Mark Freeman, who has been suing hospitals and counties on behalf of falsely accused parents; head-injury researcher John Lloyd; and me.

Zabeth says she wants the conference to both improve professional understanding of shaken baby syndrome theory and foster individual connections:

“We encourage a case history upon registration. Last year we had medical records available to be given to the experts, who were able to provide a review of the files. We have also invited advocates and any other persons interested in the issues the conference will be discussing. It is really a unique merging of both professional and client, as both for reasons of their own are seeking information and connections.”

The Bayne family on a precious visitation in 2008

For more information, check out the conference web site: <no longer on line>.

Last year’s conference was filmed by the Canadian news magazine the fifth estate, which featured the Baynes family in an excellent program on shaken baby syndrome, “Diagnosis Murder.”

I’m encouraged. When I started this blog a year ago, I’d never heard of Paul and Zabeth Bayne; I missed the news last summer when their children came home; and I only stumbled on their conference web site a few months ago. Now here I am, thrilled at the prospect of meeting in person various people I’ve been chatting with online for months to years.

The community is building. The story is breaking. Together we are going to make a difference.

-Sue Luttner

6 Comments

Filed under abusive head trauma, AHT, SBS, shaken baby syndrome

6 responses to “Coming This Summer: A Conference at the Front Lines

  1. katie

    Very very proud of you all. Good luck on your lives.

  2. Rosa

    Very happy for the Baynes family! It’s good work that this family is doing. I wish there was a similar conference here in the US. Speaking withother families who’ve been through this hell is good healing therapy. We went through a similar situation where our infant son was diagnosed with bone fractures and the hospital claimed we abused him and removed him and his twin brother from us for 7 months. When we tried to sue afterwards the lawyers we spoke with would not pick up the case, since the hospitals call CPS in “good faith”. I’d love to find a lawyer who would help us.

    • A few of us are working to try Zabeth’s ground-breaking conference in the U.S. We’ll make sure Sue knows and try to get word out. I do recommend your attendance in Vancouver, though, if you can afford it. The attendeees are from all over the world and the connections will produce more connections. Lawyers consult with your local attorneys all the time, too. Many of them do this for free.

      • melissa

        My husband and myself went through a similar situation in the state of Tennessee, It bankrupted us financially obtaining representation to prove our innocence and regain custody of our two girls. I was accused of Shaken baby. Passed two polygraphs and criminal investigation was closed in Aug of 2011. The state did not wrap up their end and throw out of court until Jan of 2012. We too have had a hard time getting an attorney to give us the time of day. As if the seperation of our little family wasnt bad enough, we recently found out from our daughter’s doctor that radiation used on our daughter is not as safe as once thought. Overexposure can lead to childhood illnesses such as Leukemia. There was an abundance of tests performed on our baby, not for her benefit, but to attempt to prove their accusations being true. Which was proven not to be. At the tim eof these “tests” our parental right were still in tact and we did not sign off on many of them.

  3. katie

    Crying without tear…

  4. This is such a great promotion of the Conference, Sue! Thanks for writing this. It was a great opportunity and in my opinion last year’s was a huge success! I can only imagine what incredible things Zabeth will have available this year.

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