Shaking a baby is clearly wrong and unsafe. But doctors need to use thorough, quality science when diagnosing SBS, since these symptoms are often caused by non-abusive medical conditions. Assumptions have no place in science, especially when innocent people’s lives are being destroyed.

Convicted, now on appeal

When Josh and Brenda Burns’ daughter Naomi became severely ill, a University of Michigan child abuse doctor claimed Naomi had been violently shaken. Other Doctors agreed that Naomi’s illness was due to her traumatic birth. The U of M doctor nevertheless gave key testimony that resulted in Josh being convicted of child abuse he did not commit. Their story eventually became the inspiration for Torn Family.

Click here to read their story.


Lost custody, case dismissed and family re-united

When the family noticed a mark on their son Dylan’s stomach at 6 weeks old, they took him to the pediatrician. They were sent to the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital,  where rib fractures were discovered. Dr Bethany Mohr and CPS immediately stepped in to accuse the Parker family of abuse, and remove Dylan and his sister from the Parker’s custody.
Further investigation however, revealed multiple natural explanations for Dylan’s condition, including a genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome as well as vitamin D deficiency. Fortunately, the Parker’s case was dismissed, and their family was re-united. You can read more about their case here.


4 years in Prison, conviction overturned and exonerated

In 2003, when Victoria Baumer decided to give up her baby for adoption, it was her sister Julie who offered to take him in. The baby’s birth was difficult, and he spent his first week of life in intensive care. At six weeks old, when Philipp was unable to keep food down, Julie took him to the emergency room. Doctors saw a skull fracture and bleeding in his brain. Julie was charged and convicted of child abuse. She was sentenced to 10-15 years. After four years in prison, the University of Michigan Law School’s Innocence Clinic was able to overturn her conviction.  The Clinic called in experts from across the country and they agreed that the injuries, while tragic, were certainly not caused by abuse. Julie was found not guilty and officially exonerated on October 15, 2010. Watch an interview with her here.


Found not guilty, but lost her daycare center and filed for bankruptcy

An infant in Rosanna’s daycare suffered a seizure and was taken to the hospital. Doctors found bleeding in the head and behind the eyes, which they considered to be proof of SBS. They testified that the injury must have happened while the child was in the daycare, and Rosanna was charged with child abuse. The doctors ignored the fact that much of the blood was weeks to months old and that the child’s head had been growing rapidly since birth. This is a sign of a condition that is known to be associated with bleeding in the head. She was found not guilty, but her daycare was closed by the state. Between legal costs and loss of income, Rosanna declared bankruptcy.


Convicted, now on appeal

Anthony’s 9-week old daughter suffered a seizure while in the care of her grandparents and she was taken to the hospital. A brain scan showed that she had bleeding on the brain and a small amount of bleeding in the back of her eyes. However, the scan also revealed that the baby had suffered a stroke while still in the womb. This left the left side of her brain shrunken to about one third its normal size, a condition which makes the brain susceptible to bleeding. Ignoring this, the doctor testified that these were signs of SBS. Anthony was convicted of first degree child abuse. His case is on appeal.

Not Guilty?

How could 12 jurors make such a mistake? Surely these convicts did something. Unless something went terribly wrong in court…

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What is SBS?

Doctors and CPS are ignoring the flaws in the science of Shaken Baby Syndrome, endangering their patients and tearing families apart.

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