Discovery of new cause for fractures among children who were adopted has “painful” lessons for doctors

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 13 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b626
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

    A case in which new medical evidence shows that three children who were taken into care and adopted may have been wrongly removed from their parents is a “painful learning experience” for the medical profession, according to a senior Court of Appeal judge.

    The case of Mark and Nicky Webster is “a further illustration of the proposition that things may not always be what they seem,” said Lord Justice Wall.

    The judge said that the case had been “a disaster” for the Websters, whose three children, named only as A, B, and C, were adopted in December 2005 after B was found to have fractures that doctors said could only be the result of intentional injuries.

    But later evidence from several experts, including one described by the judge as “arguably, it is …

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