You will absolutely need all of the child’s medical records: family history, prenatal, birth, pediatric, EMT, ER, hospitalization, and follow-up; radiology on disk; and in fatal cases autopsy reports, autopsy photographs, slides, and tissue samples. For a handy checklist, see http://www.susancanthony.com/res/sbs/-pdf/medex.pdf
See A Brief History of SBS on this blog for the shortest of all possible summaries of the medical literature, or this academic treatment for the expanded version. For the book-length treatment, order a copy of The Forensic Unreliability of the Shaken Baby Syndrome, by trial attorney Randy Papetti.
In the fall of 2016, a Swedish agency charged with evaluating health technology and social services, the SBU, conducted a literature review and concluded that the scientific support for shaken baby theory is inadequate.
A number of people and organizations offer information and help to those wrongfully accused of shaking or slamming an infant:
- The Innocence Network offers advice and materials to attorneys working on pediatric head trauma cases. Have your attorney contact Katherine Judson at email@example.com
- Emergency medicine specialist and forensic practitioner Steven Gabaeff, MD has published a critical analysis of SBS theory, including a valuable set of downloadable references:
http://escholarship.org/uc/item/7z55j01t, and he has recently published an analysis of how this medico-legal disaster happened: http://www.legalmedicinejournal.com/article/S1344-6223(15)30052-3/abstract
- In 2003, Dr. Mark Donohoe published this journal article evaluating the shaken baby literature using the standards of evidence-based medicine.
- One writer who saw a relative convicted posts her literature review on the web and will send you the pdf of herr book for parents accused of shaking a child:
- Law journals are beginning to address the problem. Make sure your attorney sees these two key articles:
- The private Facebook group Shaken Baby Syndrome: Potentially Pandemic Medical Misdiagnosis offers on-line support. It’s a private site, so you will have to apply to join.
- The Amanda Truth Project offers support and advice to the newly accused, http://www.theamandatruthproject.com/
- The public Facebook groups Medical Witch Hunt, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1040523895970381/, and Shaken Baby Syndrome False Allegations, https://www.facebook.com/SBSAccused/, post news stories and encourage discussion.
- The National Child Abuse Defense and Resource Council offers referrals to experts who can help defend against charges of child abuse, http://www.falseallegation.org/services/
- For an academic history of the shaken baby literature, see my academic article, Shaken Baby Syndrome: Medico-Legal Miscommunication and the Derailing of Justice.
- At least two attorneys with SBS experience offer professional support to defense attorneys new to the arena. For some background on the issues and what the consultants can offer, see the web sites of Mark Freeman in Pennsylvania and Toni Blake in California.
- The Quackenbush Law Firm in Texas offers a bibliography at Shaken Baby Defense and further resources elsewhere on the site.
- Accused families in Britain have a number of domestic resources:
- Exonerated parent Heather Toomey offers help with custody issues in shaking cases: http://www.searchfortruth.co.uk/help-for-parents
- The False Allegations Support Organisation helps guide parents accused of any kind of abuse: http://www.false-allegations.org.uk/
- Parents Accused, a private solicitor, specializes in defending parents against false accusations: http://www.parentsaccused.co.uk/
- The 5percenters offer help to parents accused of infant shaking: http://www.sbs5.dircon.co.uk/
- The all-volunteer non-profit Protecting Innocent Families invites people who have seen or experienced the medical misdiagnosis of child abuse to join their call for change, https://protectinginnocentfamilies.wordpress.com/
- Prof. Deborah Tuerkheimer has now published her groundbreaking book on the subject, Flawed Convictions: “Shaken Baby Syndrome” and the Inertia of Injustice.
- If your case involves a premature infant, you might want to see the PowerPoint by Dr. Varsha Atul Shah in Singapore advising that prematurity predisposes to both breathing problems and brain bleeds, http://www.slideshare.net/varshatul/prematurity.
- Dr. Michael Innes has approved posting on this blog his papers on scurvy imitating child abuse, liver dysfunction imitating child abuse, and the debunking of shaken baby theory
- There is a fascinating collection of PowerPoint presentations about child abuse evidence in the courtroom at http://sites.lsa.umich.edu/npcae/presentations/
I have prepared a number of documents summarizing the medical literature regarding various aspects of shaken baby theory. If you are interested, leave a message below and I will get back to you. If you tell me that you do not want the comment posted, I will not clear it for viewing.
A number of organizations and blogs offer information and news on shaken baby syndrome and the broader subject of wrongful convictions:
- Evidence Based Medicine and Social Investigation Group
- The Amanda Truth Project
- The Wrongful Convictions Blog
- The Charles Smith Blog
Three books have been published about women ultimately exonerated of infant shaking:
- Audrey Edmunds, It Happened to Audrey
- Heather Toomey, When Truth No Longer Matters
- Mary Weaver, Edges of Truth
A fourth book is now in print, Journey With “Justice,” by Dan Schrock, whose daughter was sent to prison for the presumed shaking of her younger child. This from-the-heart account illustrates how the initial medical reports, combined with dubious tactics by both investigators and prosecutors, tainted the investigation and ultimate conviction.
If you know an innocent person still in prison for a shaking conviction, consider contacting your regional Innocence Project, as some projects, but not all, are now reviewing SBS cases for possible appeal. Inundated with requests, they will require a lot of documentation before considering your case.
- The Innocence Network web site lists its regional members, at http://www.innocencenetwork.org/members
- Germany hosts an international innocence organization, at http://www.iippi.org/
For a collection of news stories that raise questions about shaken baby theory, please see https://protectinginnocentfamilies.wordpress.com/news/
Best wishes to us all.