Susan C. Anthony

Shaken Baby Syndrome Links and Resources

Significant controversy exists in the medical community regarding Shaken Baby Syndrome / Abusive Head Trauma (SBS / AHT). The diagnosis is actively promoted by a relatively small group of doctors who insist that baby-shaking is quite common and seriously underreported. Another relatively small group of doctors questions the very validity of the diagnosis, saying too little is known about infant brains, timing, and mechanisms of injury to infer causation from symptoms beyond a reasonable doubt.

The vast majority of doctors fall in the middle. They assume that what they were taught in med school is true and see no reason to critically examine the issue until they personally confront a troubling case. Truth is not determined by the number of people who believe something.

Child abuse is real and heartbreaking, but not everyone accused is guilty. Depriving innocent children of an innocent parent is child abuse perpetrated by the State. If the "science" of Shaken Baby Syndrome is not itself "beyond a reasonable doubt", neither are accusations and convictions based upon it. It is critical to get it right.

Proponents of the diagnosis say confessions in the literature prove that their assumptions are correct. How can the confession of one person prove the guilt of a different person who does not confess? Some things that are "consistent with" guilt are equally consistent with innocence if viewed from a different perspective. Probabilities and statistics have absolutely no relevance in an individual case.

Here are a few links for those wishing to investigate further. It can be challenging to parse facts from assumptions, presumptions, opinions and beliefs, but it is necessary. Justice should be the common goal of everyone.

To quote Dr. Daniel N. Robinson in his lecture series, Great Ideas of Philosophy, "The witch hunts were not a willy-nilly affair. They were based on deeply thought-out considerations on the nature of sin, the nature of human nature, the nature of law and the nature of crime and punishment. The witch hunt would feature centrally the known science of the period. It would feature medical specialists.

"This wasn't some activity in some backwater engaged in by superstitious people who really had no idea of what's happening. This is an official, systematic program of arrest, interrogation, a trial procedure, the application of developed principles of Roman law, presided over by magistrates and figures with the right education. Some of the best people are engaged in this, importantly. There are documents written and drafted and promulgated that alert officials as to how these trials are to be conducted, how the punishment must fit the crime, the conditions under which an admission of guilt will be acceptable to the court. And all along, determining whether the alleged witch actually is a witch by using the best evidence, the best scientific and technical information and procedure available at the time. Every age has its witches, and every age has its theory that confirms the fact that those targeted for particular abuse, or those suffering particular attention and scrutiny are really the right ones."

Dr. Robinson ends by saying, "We must be careful with our theories, musn't we?"

Yes, I agree emphatically. We must.

Source:, ┬ęSusan C. Anthony