UK MD “Erased” Waney Squier “distain” for her peers is claptrap. Famed Spilsbury would be ashamed.

Sir Bernard Spilsbury, Forensic Science, Pathology, real life Sherlock Holmes, professional expert, cora crippen, controversy, terrible people from history, george joseph smith, norman thorne, operation mincemeat -

Spilsbury in his lab. 

A bunch of stuffed medical shirts demand their respect at all costs to public safety and claim “ipse dixit” expertise  to those who submit to their “peer” review. “Disdainers” beware. Respect your betters in science or else.

This is truly chilling

One of the reasons for Squier, a respected physician, dismissal and being “struck off the list” was:

“The decision added that her attitude to her colleagues was “shocking, openly displaying your disdain for their expertise and opinions.”

It’s as if these medical blokes want to rewrite history for themselves. The legal introduction and centuries of proceedings of expert witness testimony in English Common Law and later accepted in the US is a panorama of diverse and adversarial opinions from technical experts. Full story with past articles on this.

Read this abstract to Squier’s upcoming chapter on Shaken Baby Syndrome to help determine her POV, rather than her accused and now condemned “disdain.” Its clear she expects higher standards of medical-based interpretation on the subject matter. The entire chapter will be published later this year by Academic Press (Elsevier) and will be titled “Forensic Science Reform : Research, Cases and Changing Paradigms in the Courts.” The book is co-edited by Wendy Koen and myself.

The chapter begins by analyzing the conviction and exoneration of Kenneth Marsh. Then, as the chapter explains current medical understanding of shaken baby syndrome (SBS), it becomes clear that we have lost sight of previously known facts concerning infant intracranial pathology and anatomy, and that natural conditions have been mischaracterized as the result of inflicted trauma. Research has discredited each of the indicators of SBS.  Specifically, thin film subdural hemorrhage (bleeding in the membrane surrounding the brain) has not been demonstrated to be the result of traumatic rupture of bridging veins caused by shaking but is more likely to originate as a function of immaturity. Encephalopathy (disease, damage or malfunction of the brain) is not due to traumatic shearing of the nerve fibers of the brain but is due to a secondary cascade of events including brain swelling and lack of blood and oxygen supply and is not specific for trauma and certainly not for abuse. Retinal hemorrhages (bleeding in the retina) occur in normal births and have many other natural causes in infants, one being part of the same secondary cascade.  In addition, biomechanics have shown that shaking produces less acceleration than a short fall, supporting the alternative explanation often given by defendants: the infant was injured by a short fall.  Though doctors, including the leading advocates of SBS, are shifting their views, in several jurisdictions internationally, defendants still face prosecution and conviction based on the old SBS tenets, and attorneys and courts must be aware of current science in order to ensure fair trials and just verdicts. 


A bit of British history on forensic pathology

From a different era and a different set of moral compasses, there was a different outcome in similar circumstances of medical disagreements.

Modern scientific pathology was helped to develop by a Brit. Sir Bernard Spilsbury took a hammer to many of his medical colleagues in and outside of court. He became the “peoples’ pathologist through his acceptance by the UK courts in sensational homicide casework. Some of his colleagues were sloppy and over-confident. He debunked them many times over his 40 year career. Doesn’t the “Sir” mean that he became a Knight of the Crown” or something for his contributions?

Here’s a paper about the same guy who made many of his medical forensic colleagues shake in their boots when they opposed him.

Here is a book titled “Lethal Witness” about Spilsbury.




About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
This entry was posted in criminal justice reform, CSI, expert testimony, forensic pathology, Forensic Science and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s