Friday, December 26, 2008

Is Shaken Baby Syndrome a Myth?!

Mark Anderson, a writer and a dad, spent months researching this article for Discover Magazine about Shaken Baby Syndrome. The article questions whether Shaken Baby Syndrome really exists or whether innocent parents have actually been accused of--and jailed for--"crimes" they did not commit.

In the article Anderson tells the story of a father in Illinois who was charged with shaking his baby and his wife charged with abuse and neglect. Their infant had been hospitalized three times in two months with seizure-like symptoms and fever. After he went home from the third hospitalization the baby was back in the ER with brain hemorrhaging and the baby was taken away from his parents.

Did his father and mother abuse him?

No.

This baby had a chronic subdural brain hematoma that was not caused by SBS.

The article is thorough and well-researched and carefully presents both sides of a controversial issue. Anderson does not conclude that there is no such thing as SBS. Instead, he documents how mistakes have been made, with tragic consequences to parents and their children. He also explores the research and models being proposed by scientists who are trying to figure out what happens in infant brains and why.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Thank you for this posting about my article, Jennifer. I would just add that if any readers are looking for more information, I would point them to two websites: On the skeptics' side is a great tutorial questioning the conventional wisdom about Shaken Baby Syndrome at sbsdefense.com. (It also has resources and references for attorneys and for families affected by SBS.) On the orthodox side is the Shaken Baby Alliance.

Ultimately, this controversy is about balancing the needs of children with the needs of families: Catching and preventing the mistreatment and abuse of innocent children is of course paramount, but at the same time no one would wish for innocent families to be persecuted, prosecuted and scattered to the winds either.