Outside the Echo Chamber: A Response to the 'Consensus Statement on Abusive Head Trauma in Infants and Young Children'

69 Pages Posted: 7 May 2019 Last revised: 3 Jun 2019

See all articles by Randy Papetti

Randy Papetti

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP

Paige Kaneb

Santa Clara University - School of Law

Lindsay Herf

Arizona Justice Project

Date Written: April 19, 2019

Abstract

Since the 1980s, thousands of parents and caretakers have been convicted of criminal offenses or had their children taken from them based on a forensic medical diagnosis known as Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) or Abusive Head Trauma (AHT). The diagnosis has become very controversial, yet continues to be made by pediatric physicians and utilized in court. A recent paper, titled as a “Consensus Statement on Abusive Head Trauma in Infants and Young Children,” argues there is no legitimate controversy over the diagnosis and seeks to reassure courts that the diagnosis is reliable. This response to the Consensus Statement demonstrates that the diagnosis is indeed highly controversial in the medical and scientific communities and that its key premises are uncertain or unreliable. Accordingly, courts should carefully scrutinize any case or testimony based on the diagnosis.

Keywords: Shaken baby syndrome, abusive head trauma, consensus statement, controversy, innocent

Suggested Citation

Papetti, Randy and Kaneb, Paige and Herf, Lindsay, Outside the Echo Chamber: A Response to the 'Consensus Statement on Abusive Head Trauma in Infants and Young Children' (April 19, 2019). 59 Santa Clara L. Rev. 299 (2019). , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3375116 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3375116

Randy Papetti

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP

United States

Paige Kaneb (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University - School of Law ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States

Lindsay Herf

Arizona Justice Project ( email )

United States

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