Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bulletin: Michelle Weidner; Illinois; Innocent mother is helping to bring wrongful child abuse allegations to light...“The Syndrome” is a 2014 documentary that challenges the science behind diagnoses of shaken baby syndrome and its role in the criminal justice system. A shaken baby syndrome diagnosis has long been identified in hospitals and introduced as evidence in courtrooms. The debate on its merit as discussed in “The Syndrome” has stirred controversy, with many medical experts adhering to the traditional school of thought that a trio of symptoms — bleeding on the surface of the brain, brain swelling and bleeding at the back of the eyes — is always indicative of shaken baby syndrome, while a smaller number of doctors suggest alternative diagnoses. The result of such a misdiagnosis, Weidner said, isn’t just harming the falsely accused but also could be leaving children vulnerable."

For two weeks in 2010, Michelle Weidner and her husband weren’t allowed to be alone with their three young children. Their newborn son, just five weeks old, was being examined at a local hospital and moved during a scan, producing a blurred line that led to a misdiagnosis of a skull fracture. Despite any further evidence, the Department of Children and Family Services launched a child abuse investigation. She didn’t know then that some of the medical practices that led to investigations — and, in some cases, convictions — were not always scientifically certain. “Before this happened to my family, I thought that these kinds of things were pretty straightforward. I didn’t understand that there was medical controversy surrounding these cases,” Weidner said. As a spokesperson for Pediatric Accountability for Central Illinois, Weidner will be one of four panelists at an event examining some of the complexities in diagnosing and investigating allegations of child abuse that also includes screening of the documentary “The Syndrome.” (April 25, 2016)  Weidner said the group is advocating for accountability of doctors, investigators and prosecutors so that innocent families remain intact. “Child abuse occurs, and it’s tragic. There’s no debate about that,” Weidner said. “The film and the discussion panel is about highlighting the medical and legal practices that lead to wrongful allegations of abuse.”

The entire story can be  found at:
See PACO (Pediatric Accountability in Central Illinois)  website at the link below:  "Due to underlying medical conditions and common childhood injuries, far too many innocent Central Illinois families are finding themselves wrongfully accused of intentionally harming their child.  Wrongful allegations of abuse are resulting in traumatized children, fractured families, significant financial losses and imprisonment. Not only are wrongful allegations harming innocent families, but they are diverting limited Central Illinois resources away from pursuing cases of actual abuse and neglect. Pediatric Accountability in Central Illinois (PACI) exists to improve the accuracy of child abuse and neglect investigations in the 52-county area surrounding Peoria, Illinois.  We seek to educate members of the medical, legal and law enforcement communities about the medical conditions and accidental injury findings that mimic abuse and neglect findings.  We seek to be a resource for not only wrongly accused families, but also to the Central Illinois pediatric community"

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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:

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Harold Levy;
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