Monday, September 10, 2012

Bulletin; Damian Snow: New Mexico: "Jurors dismiss "shaken baby' case amid medical skepticism." (Must Read HL); The Taos News.

STORY: "Jurors dismiss 'shaken baby' case amid medical skepticism," by reporter Chandra Johnson, published by the Taos News on September 10, 2012.

GIST: "A Questa man is free after grand jurors chose not to indict him late last month on charges of child abuse amid doctors’ accusations that he shook his infant son in May. Damian Stow, 19, has been cleared of the single child abuse charge that kept him imprisoned for two months while the Eighth Judicial District presented its case to grand jury Aug. 23. While grand jury records are sealed from the public, The Taos News spoke with Stow’s attorney, John Day, who called emergency medicine physician Steven Gabaeff as an expert during the proceedings. Gabaeff is an outspoken skeptic of Shaken Baby Syndrome. “In recent years, the whole shaken baby theory has come under fire as misguided and wrong,” Day said in a phone interview Tuesday (Sept. 4). “There are a combination of relatively normal illnesses that could have caused brain swelling that put pressure on the retinal tissue.”.........In 1971, pediatric neurosurgeon Norman Guthkelch published an article in the British Medical Journal in which he studied what he considered a direct relationship between parental shaking of small children and bleeding in the brain and eyes, along with a reduction of oxygen supply to the brain, Guthkelch refers to these three conditions as a telling “triad” of Shaken Baby Syndrome. It’s worth noting that Guthkelch, now in his late 90s, said in an episode of NPR’s Morning Edition in 2011 that the “triad” could have other causes besides shaking. “I don’t think that the famous triad, however well some people think it’s defined, can ever be so well-defined that you can say that and nothing else caused it — that meaning shaking,” Guthkelch said during the 2011 NPR episode. The same year, Gabaeff wrote that he was concerned that doctors were using “group think” to diagnose the syndrome, using “medical problems and accidents to misdiagnose abuse.” He also called the false allegations surrounding Shaken Baby Syndrome “the biggest medical fraud in history.” “I have held dead, abused babies in my arms. When it is real, it is easy to see. When it is conjured up via the misdiagnosis of accidents and medical problems, it is equally obvious,” Gabaeff wrote. “There are thousands of people in jail falsely convicted of an act that no one saw and no one can prove causes damage to the brain or the eye.” But not, Day said, his client Damian Stow. “In this case, the system worked,” Day said. “Unfortunately, an innocent man had to sit in jail for 60 days.”

The entire story can be found at:


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