In the mid-1990s, a methodological turn to evidence-based medicine revealed that the research underlying SBS was fundamentally flawed. Greater scrutiny of the claims made on behalf of the triad unraveled the diagnosis in important respects. This chapter describes how and why the evidentiary foundations of classical SBS eroded, leaving in its wake a number of significant unknowns. What is now clear is that the triad can be caused by a number of natural disease processes, referred to as the “mimics” of abuse. Short falls can also result in the triad. As well, scientists acknowledge the existence of “lucid intervals”—a period of time during which a seemingly well baby can experience the neurological symptoms associated with SBS. In recognition of this evolution in scientific knowledge, the American Academy of Pediatrics has renamed SBS: it is now “Abusive Head Trauma.” When it comes to proving guilt in criminal court, the new diagnosis cannot do the work of the old SBS. This casts in doubt the category of convictions resting on expert claims that have been discredited.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.