Once again we see the terrible injustice of the false science behind "Shaken Baby Syndrome" (SBS) and how it destroys families, often imprisoning innocent parents and caregivers. More and more courts and judges are overturning past convictions as the "science" behind SBS crumbles. In this story recently published in Australia, Lorraine Harris was convicted of killing her baby, and then had her second child taken away from her after birth because of the false conviction. She served 17 months of her sentence before being paroled, and then fought to clear her name. She was "successful" in clearing her name, but lost everything. Her second son was adopted out and she has had no contact with him. Ironically, Dr. Waney Squier testified in both her conviction, and in her acquittal. That's because Dr. Waney Squier, a world renowned neuropathologist, has become one of the world's most outspoken critics on the lack of science behind SBS. She has sacrificed her career to tell the world the truth, and to stand for those wrongly accused.
In 2014, Health Impact News brought you a story about a Jonesborough, Tennessee, couple Joe and Charlotte Whitaker, who were accused of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). The local police charged the couple following a 911 call from Joe Whitaker on August 15, 2013, when their son, Jaden, became unresponsive. Jaden was diagnosed with the controversial Shaken Baby Syndrome by a “child abuse specialist," Dr. Mary Palmer of the University of Knoxville Medical Center. In an update to this tragedy, the formerly happy family of five has lost everything. The couple lost their son to the state in 2014, and recently Charlotte lost her husband, home, and job. Joe Whitaker is now in jail for a crime his family says he did not commit.
Pediatric neuropathologist and expert defense witness Dr. Waney Squier was found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the UK’s General Medical Council earlier this year for daring to disagree with the medical establishment over the “science” behind shaken baby syndrome. After winning her appeal in October and recently returning to work, Dr. Squier finally broke her silence to tell the world her side of the story. Dr. Squier told reporters that she believed that it was time for a public inquiry into how this syndrome is still being used to condemn innocent people in the family and criminal courts.
Nurses in both the U.S. and the U.K. are coming under increased pressure to get the flu shot as a condition of employment. One nurse regrets her decision to receive the flu shot while she was pregnant. Her child was born with serious medical conditions, and upon admitting him to the hospital she was accused of abusing her child, as was the child's father. They were later both cleared of any wrongdoing, but they lost custody of their son.
A couple in West Texas was devastated when they were accused of abusing their 6 week old daughter. Michelle and Elliot Wallace began seeking answers after the explanations given by doctors placed the blame on the parents and landed their baby in foster care. They have since learned that baby Eva sustained injuries at birth, injuries which are known complications of the kind of difficult birth that their baby had. These injuries were overlooked at the time of her birth, but are now the very injuries that doctors are claiming are caused by Shaken Baby Syndrome. Meanwhile, criminal charges have been filed against the father for a crime he claims never happened.
Indiana Parents Lose Their Baby and 2 Years of Their Lives in Jail for “Abuse” They Say Never Happened
An Indiana couple watches their mailbox with dread, waiting for the papers they hope will never come - papers saying that their young son has been adopted out. Laura Gellinger and Dylan Day haven't seen their son in over 2 years, after they took their then 3 month old baby to the hospital for a minor injury and were subsequently accused of child abuse. They each spent 2 years in jail and are currently on probation after their son was found to have multiple fractures in various stages of healing. A family history of osteoporosis, on both sides, was ignored, and there was only minimal testing for any other possible medical explanation for baby Jackson Day's alleged injuries. But the parents say that they were never adequately represented in court by their public defenders, and that the social workers involved in their case presented false testimony against them. Could this be a case of innocent parents being unjustly accused, and imprisoned, for something that they didn't do? Laura's parents believe so, and Laura and Dylan maintain that they don't know what actually happened, and that they never hurt their baby.
For the first time, a New York appellate court has ruled that evidence once used to convict people in shaken-baby cases may no longer be scientifically valid. The ruling, which came in the case of René Bailey, a Greece woman convicted of causing the death of a child in 2001, has implications for a number of other people in state prisons for shaken-baby offenses. In this area alone, several dozen people have been convicted of murder or assault in such cases. The appeals court decision, released Thursday, changes the legal landscape in New York for alleged shaken baby cases, said Brian Shiffrin, a local appellate lawyer who was not involved in the case. “It makes it both easier for defense attorneys to argue the science and it puts the burden back on prosecutors to show there is evidence to support the theory of shaken baby syndrome,” said Shiffrin, who has handled appeals of shaken-baby convictions.
In March 2016, after being publicly humiliated and having her career torn to shreds by the General Medical Council (GMC), pediatric neuropathologist and expert defense witness Dr. Waney Squier was found guilty of “misleading her peers, being irresponsible, dishonest and bringing the reputation of the medical profession into disrepute.” However, if the GMC thought that that was the end of the matter, then they were mistaken, because less than eight months later, Dr. Squier was back to appeal their decision, and this time, she was not alone. After she had been discredited months earlier, 350 doctors, scientists and lawyers rallied together in her support, and in an unprecedented move had written a letter of protest to the British Medical Journal (BMJ), questioning the GMC’s decision. Professionals were not the only ones demanding answers, because since their decision, the GMC have been bombarded with petitions and letters from parents and supporters from all over the world. It appears that the overwhelming support for this professional has had the desired effect, because in October 2016, Dr. Waney Squier won her appeal. However, despite winning her appeal, as expected, there was a catch, and although Dr. Squier’s name was returned to the medical register, she has been prevented from giving evidence as an expert witness for another three years, which many believe was her punishment for standing up to the establishment.
Chris and Keshia Turner from East Tennessee are still waiting to bring their son Brayden home since he was removed from their custody on December 11, 2014. Keshia had rushed the baby to the emergency room when his leg that had been splinted in the NICU became tight and warm to the touch. While at the hospital, an x-ray revealed a broken bone and several rib fractures. The following day, Keshia took Brayden to his pediatrician to follow-up on his care. There she found herself confronted with law enforcement and a Department of Children’s Services worker who demanded that she take Brayden to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, nearly three hours away. That evening, Vanderbilt Medical Center Child Abuse Specialist Dr. Deborah Lowen said that Brayden’s injuries could only be abuse, and investigators and doctors allegedly stopped looking for another explanation.
The diagnosis of "shaken baby syndrome" has previously been questioned both medically and legally. Now comes the SBU and Smers investigative report that argues that the evidence of skakvåld does not measure up. The Swedish Council on Technology and Social Evaluation and the National Medical Ethics have jointly investigated the scientific basis for the diagnosis skakvåld to infants or in English "shaken baby syndrome". After reviewing the scientific literature, explains the SBU and Smers report, there is not sufficient scientific evidence to establish that the typical damage is certainly caused by skakvåld.