Pro prosecution ardor within the criminal justice system is alive and unwell in the UK. Here’s what happens when prosecutors and “four senior judges” roll out the rack to ruin legitimate scientific progress within their kingdom. Dangerous stuff, progress. Within the first link listed below, one quoter states that it is “a dark day for science – and justice.”
The British medical-legal curiae ( doctors, lawyers and laymen) ordered that a physician permanently shut her mouth about her reasonable doubts that certain clinical autopsy findings during infant deaths are pathognomonic of a specific cause. Of course this is has to do with………
Shaken Baby Syndrome ( see the ongoing and most recent cinematic debate on SBS at this site). Further info below contains the SBS arguments ongoing in the US.
This is a chart of some of the differential diagnostic alternatives that oppose the UK declaration that SBS characteristics are solely present in criminal investigations of infant homicide. (taken from the same site’s trailer of The Syndrome documentary)
Here is a telling response to this “striking off” of Dr. Waney Squier from any further practice of medicine.
“It is illogical to condemn Dr Squier for “cherrypicking” facts that are inconsistent with an unproven theory: if there are findings that call SBS into question, then that obviously casts doubt on the theory. And it is equally unrealistic to accuse her of lacking sufficient expertise in SBS: the very nature of forensic science (if it is science at all) is that experts do not spend their time training in anti-science.”
Full article with this response.
Another recent article has the chief of the General Medical Counsel (GMC) spouting boilerplate platitudes regarding its role as “keeper” of highest standards for experts before the judiciary. This is a tribunal and NOT a scientific medical board. He doesn’t really care and in fact he uses it as a shield. Clever guy. This bunch is the originator of the “cherrypicking” charge against Dr. Waney. Here’s an example of his doublespeak.
“First, the GMC is not and has no intention of being the arbiter of scientific opinion – the allegations we brought against Dr Squier did not rest on the validity of her scientific theory but upon her competence and conduct in presenting her evidence to the courts.”
Right. He is a keeper of Competence and Conduct and Presentation. He also seems to be a guardian of Decorum and Legalistic Status Quo cloaked as legal regulation. There are no rules governing the advancement of science within the British or US legal systems that are authored by scientists, as Squier’s case clearly shows. Adaptation by this system regarding forensic change, or “reform” as some of us call it, is a battle field. Squier’s fate with the GMC is a serious skirmish because this type of personal attack is indicative of previous convictions on SBS being suspect if her rhetoric is not quashed. Anything works to discredit an expert when its cloaked in officialdom. Even puerile chastisement. As some readers may know, this is the same guy who charged Squier with the crime of “distain” for her peers. Very dangerous stuff to the starched shirt crowd. Here is the site showing his “vetted” wisdom (after all he is on the GMC), The site includes some folks arguing in strong and logical opposition.
In closing for this post:
From the above site, here is a US comment regarding Squier’s administrative crucifixion from Susan Goldsmith. It contains some serious irony about Squier’s status in the world of pathology.
“What has happened to Dr Waney Squier is appalling, and fits with a well-established theme here in the US of attempting to silence critics of shaken baby syndrome through prosecutions, censures, professional ridicule and threats. I am a career investigative reporter with a documentary film (to be released 15 April) all about this. It is called The Syndrome and it is the culmination of eight years of my research. I also happen to be a career reporter who has gotten laws passed in the US to help abused and neglected children (see my bio on website). The attempt to eliminate the opposition in shaken baby syndrome cases is sickening and undemocratic. Dr Squier is a world-renowned neuropathologist whose work and courage should be celebrated. In fact, she is being celebrated, at the very same time that she is being stripped of her medical licence. In early April, Dr Squier will receive a Champion of Justice Award at the National Innocence Network conference in Texas. What the GMC has done is clear. It has sent a message to all who dare question this dogma: speak up and we will ruin your career. The world is watching.
Writer/producer, The Syndrome