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Dr. Alice Newton, the Medical Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Child Protection Program, is back in the news. Dr. Newton gained attention in the media in 2014 during the Justina Pelletier medical kidnapping case when she used the designation of “medical child abuse” to take Justina away from her parents. Justina’s parents were not happy with the treatment of Justina, and had sought a second opinion, more consistent with their regular doctor.

In this report from WCVB in Boston, two people who were accused of “Shaken Baby Syndrome” by Dr. Alice Newton have allegedly had their charges dropped after being wrongly convicted on false evidence. Dr. Newton is part of a recently created pediatric specialty that looks for medical child abuse. Some would say that these specialists must find medical abuse to justify their positions, and that they often are quick to make judgments without considering other evidence. (See: Are New Pediatric “Child Abuse Specialists” Causing an Increase in Medical Kidnappings?)

5 Investigates: Same expert behind two dropped shaken baby cases

By Kathy Curran


Aisling Brady McCarthy spent more than two years behind bars while charged with murder in the death of 1-year-old Rehma Sabir, but 5 Investigates has found it’s not the first shaken baby allegation by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office that was dropped in the past year.

Geoffrey Wilson of Malden was accused in 2010 of shaking his 6-month-old son, Nathan, to death. But defense experts found Wilson’s son had a rare genetic defect that may have played a role in his death.

Last year the Medical Examiner’s Office changed the manner of death from “homicide” to “cannot be determined” and — more than four years after being charged — the case against him was dropped.

The prosecution’s medical expert at the center of both cases was Dr. Alice Newton.

Wilson’s attorney, J.W. Carney, said the case against his client was a “rush to judgment.”

“Geoff Wilson was arrested at the hospital two hours after his child was taken off life support,” Carney said.

The science behind shaken baby diagnoses are being questioned and in some cases thrown out across the country.

“So many questions are being raised about shaken baby syndrome that there are more dismissals of pending cases than there are of new indictments,” Carney said.

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See Also:

Are New Pediatric “Child Abuse Specialists” Causing an Increase in Medical Kidnappings?