An Investigation of Modern Physics by Brian Williams
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  • Shaken Baby Syndrome – Preliminaries

    Posted on April 15th, 2012 Brian No comments

    You will not find much humour in this series of posts. The original report on which it based was produced while I was in a state of anger, over many months, at the lack of honesty and professionalism by the prosecution.

    Syndrome – From Google.

    1. A group of symptoms that consistently occur together or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms.
    2. A characteristic combination of opinions, emotions or behavior.

    In the ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome‘ the original symptom responsible for the name was damage done to the upper arms of a  baby or child. This  could be bruising, breakages or shoulder dislocations, or a combination of these. Later, in some cases, damage was discovered to the child’s neck. These symptoms should normally lead to the suspicion of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

    This type of injury is not, in itself, proof of the baby being shaken. Some-one catching a falling child could accidentally inflict the same injuries. Bruising on one side of one arm alone would indicate the possibilty of a falling injury.

    A falling child could suffer a single arm bruising, neck injury and broken arm. A child falling downstairs could have all of the above injuries.

    Neck injuries without damage to the upper arms should indicate that  ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’ does not apply.

    ‘None shaking’ neck injuries would show bruising or cuts to the head or neck.

    Now consider the following extract from Google

    Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is a triad of medical symptoms: subdural haematoma, retinal hemorrhage, and brain swelling from which doctors, consistent with current medical understanding, infer child abuse caused by intentional shaking. In a majority of cases there is no visible sign of external trauma.

    SBS is often fatal and can cause severe brain damage, resulting in lifelong disability. Estimated death rates (mortality) among infants with SBS range from 15% to 38%; the median is 20%–25%. Up to half of deaths related to child abuse are reportedly due to shaken baby syndrome. Nonfatal consequences of SBS include varying degrees of visual impairment (including blindness), motor impairment (e.g. cerebral palsy) and cognitive impairments.

    Notice the complete lack of any mention of arm injuries or neck injuries.

    A few years ago I was requested to carry out an investigation into the medical evidence presented by the prosecution in a case claiming that the parents had caused life threatening injuries to their infant son by seriously shaking him and throwing onto the  floor or onto a hard object.

    The prosecution team (against the parents) included 12 consultants and 6 Social Services personnel. The defense team proposed by the Social Services, comprised the parents, an inexperienced solicitor and a medical consultant who was later revealed as a professional prosecution witness in this type of case. (The social Services admitted that they had to work in accordance the charges, and spent most of their time attempting to get the parents to admit their guilt.) The parents had been told by the Social Services that they must not tell any-one about what was happening, but the parents had more sense and told their parents.

    The family then decided that  they would have to handle the defense themselves, and began collecting published medical information. I became involved when I was asked to draft a letter for them repudiating some legal point.

    After many months I did manage to prove that the parents were not guilty, and that the damage occurred at the hospital.

    What was the damage?

    Subdural haematomas.

    Retinal Haemorrhages.

    Brain Swelling.

    So we had the situation that the child had all the symptoms claimed by the prosecution to prove ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome, but I could prove that the damage actually occurred at the hospital. This throws the validity of all the evidence required for justification of ‘shaken baby’ trials into serious doubt.

    The interesting point about all this is that the prosecution was instigated and controlled by the people responsible for the injuries

    The medical use of the Shaken Baby Syndrome has become a ( as stated under Syndrome –  category 2),

    “A characteristic combination of opinions, emotions or behavior.”

    Unfortunately this relates to medical professionals, not patients.

    If you or anyone known to you is accused of ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’, get a solicitor or lawyer to insist on the immediate release of copies of all medical records relating to the child.

    In this particular case the first item of the medical records was accidentally received by the defense 5.5 months after the charges were made, despite repeated request for full records. Some items presented to the court by the prosecution were forgeries.

    Author – Brian Williams – Contact e-mail —

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