Friday, April 18, 2014

Josh Miller: Shaken baby syndrome: Matt Stroud reports in "The Verge" that parents are going to prison for a medical diagnosis that may not exist - and that in 3,000 cases, the shaken baby syndrome debate goes on. (Must Read. HL);

STORY: "Parents are going to prison for a medical diagnosis that may not exist: In 3,000 cases, the shaken baby syndrome debate goes on," by reporter Matt Stroud, published by "The Verge" on April 15, 2014.

GIST: "There’s no indication that Guthkelch — or doctors more broadly — intended SBS to inspire prosecutorial charges en masse against parents and caregivers who’d allegedly shaken their children into unconsciousness. But that’s what prosecutors have done. Enlisting doctors as expert witnesses, SBS criminal cases are not uncommon. Students at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University found last year that there’ve been as many as 3,000 criminal cases in the United States related to shaken baby syndrome. That’s arguably a good thing — people should indeed face the criminal justice system for shaking children. But much has evolved in the medical community since 1971 to question SBS as indicative of a crime. Which means many of those cases and criminal convictions are questionable.........A major magazine piece about a Seattle-area SBS case was published this month, along with a followup to an ongoing newspaper investigation about a separate case in Rochester, NY. There's been a lot of major media attention, in fact, brought to the debate over SBS. Not the least of that attention comes from a New York Times Magazine feature and a Frontline investigation that lead to the release of a man convicted on dubious SBS charges. But that attention has by no means inspired consensus about SBS. Questions about SBS’s validity have deeply divided segments of the medical community. That uncertainty is then dissected in criminal trials and translated to juries, who are then asked to make a decision about whether to throw someone into prison. Josh Miller’s case was a particularly confusing example of that scenario.........Surprisingly, Dr. Norman Guthkelch, the man credited with discovering SBS in the first place, has done quite a bit to analyze potentially faulty shaking cases. And in his interview with NPR, he said there’s plenty of reason to do so. "In a case of measles, if you get the diagnosis wrong, in seven days' time it really doesn't matter because it's cleared up anyhow," he said. "If you get the diagnosis of fatal shaken baby syndrome wrong, potentially someone's life will be terminated.""

The entire story can be found at:


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.
I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

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:
I look forward to hearing from readers at:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;