Monday, July 02, 2001
County holds shaken-baby forum
By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer
WEST CHESTER TWP. The national debate about shaken baby syndrome is coming to Butler County.
The county, which had a rash of alleged shaken baby cases last year, is bringing in national experts for a seminar.
This is something that needed to be addressed in an equal and balanced forum to show both sides of the picture, said Kittie Weber, executive director of the Human Services Council of Butler County Inc., a coordinator of the program.
IF YOU GO
What: Seminar on shaken baby syndrome. |
When:7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 12.
Where: West Chester Township Meeting Hall, 9100 Centre Pointe Drive.
Who: Open to the public.
Registration: Deadline is Thursday.
Information: Kittie Weber at 759-7211 or Barbara Upton at 759-7214.
In Butler County, three alleged shaken baby cases are set for trial over the next few weeks.
Those cases are challenging the accuracy of diagnoses and decisions about which medical records are public and which are not. At least one of the cases has raised the issue of doctors who refuse to testify because they don't want to damage relationships with their peers.
There are people that shake their children and hurt them, but there are also times when normal childhood falls and events can produce symptoms that look like shaken baby ... And sorting out the difference between the two is one of the most difficult challenges that child protection workers have, said Butler County Commissioner Michael A. Fox, who pushed for the seminar.
We want to give our professionals in Butler County the best science and the most up-to-date knowledge on what the issues are and how they can better do their jobs ... We want them to handle these cases in a more balanced, fair and accurate manner.
Among the subjects to be discussed: biomechanics and traumatic head injuries, legal issues, criminal charges, false accusations, investigative techniques and how to recognize, prevent and report the syndrome.
The panelists include:
Dr. Werner Goldsmith, professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has testified in hundreds of court cases about the way head injuries occur.
Elaine Whitfield Sharp, an attorney who was part of the defense team in the much-publicized case of Louise Woodward, a British au pair who was convicted of second-degree murder for the killing of 8-month-old Matthew Eappen in 1997 in Massachusetts.
Dr. Robert A. Shapiro, medical director of the Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
Brian Holgrem, an assistant district attorney general in Nashville, Tenn., who has presented and written extensively on child abuse.
James R. Peinkofer, a social worker and author of two books, 101 Ways to Soothe a Crying Baby and Silenced Angels: The Medical, Legal and Social Aspects of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
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