Legal cases involving infant death are always tragic; it’s necessary that the legal system properly defend them. But it is appalling if the court system be allowed to use outdated information to wrongly accuse already suffering parents. So argues Dr. Squier who is advocating for a new examination of the symptoms of SBS (Shaken Baby Syndrome).
“In the past four years there have been several discoveries about the dura, the membrane covering the brain. It was thought that it was there to protect the brain from shock, but we now know it also has the very important function of controlling blood flow out of the brain. At birth the dura has huge blood channels that can leak – and not always as a result of trauma. They do, however, disappear during the child’s second year of life. These findings are so significant that I now believe that half or even more of those who have been brought to trial in the past for SBS have been wrongly convicted. ‘I am also convinced we can virtually exclude shaking as a cause of death in babies unless, as well as bleeding in the brain, we have additional evidence of trauma, such as serious damage to the neck. When a baby is shaken, the head will flop back and forth and the neck becomes the weak point. In other words, if you shake a baby so hard that it dies, it is the neck that is going to show the damage, not the brain.” Hospitals in New York City and Queens must be aware of these situations.
The doctor’s view is gathering worldwide momentum but is also garnering toxic feedback. She says that pathologists want to remain in the comfortable and unchallenging zone of an outdated theory. She says judges don’t appreciate new science that could make convictions more complex, and police forces don’t want to change the current makeup for fear of not getting the convictions they want.
This preeminent neuropathologist has specialized in infant brains. She has examined thousands and has written more than 100 medical paper on normal brain development and what happens when pregnancy and birth mishaps occur. She has investigated many unexpected infant deaths. In short, a New York Birth Injury Lawyer says, she has the experience that should garner her listening ears.
Having testified for the prosecution in many cases, she changed her mind about 10 years ago when Jennian Geddes, a former consultant neuropathologist at the Royal London Hospital, produced some pioneering work. Geddes argued that, in a small number of cases, injuries associated with the triad can occur naturally, such as when babies suffer from a lack of oxygen supply that triggers bleeding. Squier decided a relook was necessary, and many other agree with her, including many at the New York Birth Injury Law Offices.
Always searching for the most up-to-date information that will help clients; the NYC Birth Injury Law Office is ready to defend those who feel they have been unduly injured. The Office of Stephen Bilkis and Associates can offer you support and guidance as well as a free consultation when you contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW. We have offices in N York City, including Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and The Bronx and in Nassau County, Suffolk County and Westchester County.