Sunday, January 22, 2012

Shaken Baby Syndrome: Case for requiring bone-density testing before convicting caretakers; Matthew Seeley; Brigham Young Law Review. (Great read);

STORY: "Unexplained Fractures in Infants and Child Abuse: The Case for Requiring Bone-Density Testing Before Convicting Caretakers," by Matthew B. Seeley, Brigham Young University Law Review, 2011.

GIST: "Imagine that you are a young parent taking your four-month-old son to a routine checkup. During the examination, the pediatrician notices a bruise on his right leg. Her visage subtly changes as she closely examines the bruise. She informs you that she has reason to believe that your baby may have been physically abused and that you will have to immediately take him to the hospital for further testing. You are a bit insulted that the doctors would even think it was possible that you would hurt your baby, but you are confident that carefully researched, scientific tests that will be conducted at the hospital will quickly dispel this misunderstanding. You wring your hands as you wait for the result of the x-ray at the hospital. A doctor then approaches you and says that your baby has a large number of fractures in his legs and his ribs. Before you can ask, the doctor explains that these types of fractures in a baby of this age suggest, with near certainty, child abuse. He asks you how these fractures occurred. You are so aghast and surprised at the situation that you stutter as you say that you don’t know. You suggest that he must have some type of condition that makes his bones break very easily. This suggestion is met with dismissive incredulity. No, the doctor explains. The x-rays didn’t show any signs of such a condition. These types of fractures indicate that your baby has been abused. A child protection agent says that your baby will have to be taken into protective custody. Your baby will be placed with foster parents. You and your spouse will soon be charged with felony assault. You and your spouse will be labeled child abusers by incredulous authorities who simply shake their heads when you insist that your child’s fractures must have been caused by a medical condition. In short, your life will be turned upside down. How likely is this scenario?


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;;