CPS Attorneys in Michigan:
Shaken Baby Syndrome Laws and Impacts
Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a somewhat outdated term that is commonly used by CPS workers but for the most part abandoned by the medical community. There are a variety of terms used by the medical community to describe this issue. Examples would be “abusive head trauma” and “intentionally inflicted injury.” The reason for the change in terminology is important for parents and attorneys to understand. Child protection team doctors generally practice a mix of patient care and “forensic” medicine. Forensic medicine is a medical practice for the benefit of the legal system.
Over the years, there have been significant scientific challenges to classic SBS theories. These scientific challenges have lead to prosecution losses in the courtroom. As a result, the medical community has intentionally changed the approach to both diagnosis and courtroom testimony. “Abusive head trauma” and “Intentionally Inflicted Injury” are much more general terms that are used to describe an unexplained head injury in a young child.
While the medical terms may change from time to time, the underlying theories have really not evolved significantly. The theory is that a violent shaking of a young child can cause subdural hematoma or subarachnoid hemorrhage with or without a cervical spine injury being present. In most case, retinal hemorrhages are also present. The classic “triad” of symptoms traditionally has been retinal hemorrhages (often bilateral), subdural hematoma and brain injury.
Shaken Baby Syndrome
Defense Lawyers in Michigan
As the theory has been challenged, doctors have responded by moving away from the “triad” as a basis for the diagnosis. Most child abuse pediatricians today will not use the term “Shaken Baby Syndrome” even though they are true believers in the theory. This not only creates a problem for parents of children with head injuries, it creates a problem for unsuspecting defense attorneys.
The unfortunate reality is that many parents accused of shaking a child are under-represented. Effectively fighting an allegation of shaking can require the services of several highly qualified expert witnesses and seasoned defense counsel.
If you have been accused of causing injury by SBS to your child or a child in your care, your future is at stake. You could lose custody of your child, have your parental rights terminated, and face criminal charges severe enough to land you in prison for many years.
The Michigan child abuse defense lawyers at Kronzek & Cronkright are experienced with helping clients who have been accused of, or charged with, child abuse. This is where our experience with medically complex litigation comes into play; we can bring in medical experts and other professionals to help judge and jury understand the medical explanations of injuries when the prevailing assumption is child abuse. At Kronzek & Cronkright, our lawyers have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to effectively represent a client in a Michigan Shaken Baby Syndrome case.
Contact a Michigan child abuse defense attorney at our firm if you have been accused of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Call us at 1 866-766-5245 today!