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Doctors in shaken baby syndrome case are accused of “scientific prejudice”

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 13 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1989
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

    Two consultant pathologists who regularly give evidence in court for parents accused of causing their babies’ deaths by shaking have been accused of “developing a scientific prejudice” by a judge at the High Court in London.

    Waney Squier and Marta Cohen disagreed with the other experts about the likely cause of death of a 13 week old baby after a postmortem examination found the classic “triad” of injuries associated with shaking: encephalopathy and subdural and retinal haemorrhages. The local authority wanted to take the baby’s older brother, who was 16 months old at the time, into care. The mother had been alone with the toddler and the baby, named only as Z, when he collapsed.

    The other experts in the case considered that the most likely cause of death was non-accidental injury caused by shaking, but Dr Squier and Dr Cohen suggested that the injuries could have been …

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