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The Forensic Unreliability of the Shaken Baby Syndrome

The Forensic Unreliability of the Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken baby syndrome is a highly controversial, unproven, shifting set of hypotheses that are unreliable for legal purposes.


Randy Papetti


Academic Forensic Pathology International





This book is the most comprehensive effort to date to explore the science, medicine, and law as they relate to shaken baby syndrome (SBS), abusive head trauma (AHT), and their related controversies. Written by a trial attorney experienced in SBS/AHT cases, and edited by one of the world’s leading forensic pathologists, the book provides physicians, investigators, lawyers, courts—anyone interested in these controversies—with a guide that: Traces the history of SBS, both in the literature and in the courtroom, its ongoing evolution into AHT, and highlights how proponents of SBS/AHT have shaped and defended SBS to serve child protection and legal purposes; Reviews and summarizes the scientific, medical, and legal literature relating to SBS, AHT, and alternative explanations for the triad findings that may lead to mistaken SBS/AHT diagnoses; Examines the scientific evidence base for the forensic use of SBS, AHT, and retinal hemorrhages; Analyzes the legal reliability of SBS/AHT against the standards of the United States Supreme Court’s Daubert decision.

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