Is ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’ A Medical Diagnosis? Or A False Accusation? (Pt. 2)

November 8, 2017 Abuse and Neglect Attorney
close up of a baby's foot in the hospital
Many baby’s diagnosed with SBS are actually struggling with medical conditions.


Parents the world over who have endured the heartbreak of losing a child, will be the first to tell you that it’s a life altering event. A pain that never completely heals. A pain that dulls, but never really goes away. Could anything be more dreadful than that? Sadly, the answer is yes. Being falsely accused of causing your child’s death is a horror that compounds this tragedy in ways most parents can only guess at. And yet it happens every day.


In the first installment in this series we looked at the slow turning of the tide with regards to the medical community’s approach to Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). A growing understanding that not every unresponsive child with that well-known “triad” of symptoms is a victim of a violent parent. A reality that growing numbers of cases are finally proving…


Just a couple of years ago, a New York Judge overturned a murder conviction against a 55-year-old babysitter who was accused of shaking a baby, causing death. In his explanation, the Judge cited that the forms of evidence proving the infant was shaken were either “demonstrably wrong, or now subject to new debate.” By this time, the accused had spent ten years behind bars.


Less than a month later, a Judge in Texas recommended a new trial for a man who was serving out a 35 year prison sentence for allegedly injuring his girlfriend’s infant daughter. The Judge’s recommendation was based on a letter submitted jointly to the court by both the prosecuting and defense attorney involved. In the letter it stated that the man’s conviction was based on science “now known to be unsound.”


SBS claims many victims – and most of them are adults!


This is only a tiny sampling of the examples available. A 17-year-old Texan mother was accused of shaking her 2-month-old son in 1999, causing his eventual death. She was charged with murder, and eventually accepted a lesser plea. She had already served several years in prison when a new Chief Medical Examiner reviewed the autopsy results, only to discover that a breathing tube, incorrectly inserted during the rush to save the infant’s life, had likely been the real culprit.


Even further back, in 1998, there was the case of a father in Tampa whose baby had been born three months premature, and had struggled with numerous health complications in her short life. When she passed away at three months of age, the associate medical examiner at the time ruled that the cause of death was traumatic head and neck injuries from violent shaking. And once again it was a case of a new medical examiner reviewing old cases and discovering previously neglected truths. In the end, it was ruled that the cause had been pneumonia, and the charges were dropped.


Unfortunately, there are so many examples of situations just like these all over the country. Cases where inconclusive results interpreted incorrectly, or symptoms appearing similar to SBS and therefore not questioned further, have resulted in innocent parents imprisoned. Families torn apart. Children removed from the care of their loving mothers and fathers in the wake of a siblings tragically misunderstood death.


Join us next time, when we take a look at what many experts are now saying with regards to SBS. Experts who once fought to put parents behind bars, and have finally seen the light. Until then, if you or a loved one have been accused of abusing or neglecting a child, call The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245. Our highly skilled abuse and neglect defense attorneys have decades of experience defending parents and caregivers, and our success rates are widely known. Call us today. We can help you too.