A Current “Shaken Baby” Case Revives The Debate About This Questionable Science (Pt 1)

January 9, 2019 Abuse and Neglect Attorney
Baby in hospital
Many babies are born with medical conditions that mimic “shaken baby symptoms” – that doesn’t mean their parents should go to prison!

There is hardly a month that goes by in Michigan, that there isn’t a terrible child abuse case making the rounds in the news. Some of them are legitimate – those children really were harmed and the state is right to step in and protect them. Some of them are bogus – those kids are suffering from rare medical conditions that ill-informed doctors have misdiagnosed as child abuse. But the one that always amazes us is the ‘shaken baby’ cases.

Why do they amaze us? Because recent advancements in medical science have shown that the clues that point so definitely to ‘shaken baby’ aren’t actually definitive at all! (In the current situation making the news here in Michigan, it’s a classic case of no one saw it happen and we only have the “injuries” to prove it!) In fact, many older cases have been revised in recent years. Condemned people have been granted new trials, or simply had their sentences revoked in the face of new scientific data. So why do we continue to see shaken baby cases in the news so often?

Let’s get the undeniable truth out of the way…

First and foremost, let’s be clear: It does happen. Some parents, when they’re at their wit’s end, or are struggling with anger management issues, make bad choices with their kids (or other people’s kids.) Sometimes, a baby or toddler that has cried nonstop for hours, is too much for an exhausted mother or father to handle. And because they may have no coping skills for stress, or no support system to lean on in difficult times (or both), they make a crappy choice.

Sometimes it’s the impatient boyfriend. Sometimes it’s the enraged dad, crumbling under the pressures of caring for a family without a stable income. Sometimes it’s the tragedy of a child with medical conditions that makes them fussy and difficult to manage. There are lots of situations where people reach the end of their capacity to cope. We’re not making excuses for these tragedies, or trying to suggest that it doesn’t happen. But we’re pretty sure it doesn’t happen nearly as often as people seem to think it does.

What makes us so sure it doesn’t happen that often?

Well, it’s not because we can’t see the truth for what it is, or because we believe all our clients are innocent. It’s because new advances in medical science are proving that there’s a lot more to certain symptoms than doctors previously believed. At one point in history, doctors were certain that if a child was brought into the hospital with three very specific symptoms, they were absolutely and undeniably the victims of being violently shaken. We now know that’s not true.

Curious about what those symptoms are, and why doctors are changing their minds about what they mean? Want to know more about convictions that have been overturned because new medical evidence is proving that ‘shaken baby’ doesn’t happen as often as we previously thought? We figured you would. So join us next time for a breakdown of all this information. You’ll be glad you did!

But until then, get the help you need when you need it!

If you or a loved one have been accused by CPS or the police of harming a child in any way, you’re going to need help from skilled and experienced child abuse defense attorneys. Whether it’s a shaken baby case, some other form of child abuse, or even alleged child neglect, we’re here to help you 24/7. Call 866 766 5245 right now and talk to someone who understands, and can protect you and your family during this difficult time.