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UK doctor who misled courts over shaken baby syndrome struck off

Dr Waney Squier
Dr Waney Squier

A doctor found to have deliberately and dishonestly misled the courts when giving expert evidence about so-called shaken baby syndrome has been struck off.

Dr Waney Squier failed to be objective and unbiased in six cases in which she gave evidence for the defence, including the deaths of four babies and a 19-month-old child, a disciplinary panel had ruled.

On Monday, a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service panel ruled her conduct was "fundamentally incompatible with continued registration as a medical practitioner".

Dr Squier, 67, who works at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, gave expert evidence that the brain injuries involved were either not consistent with non-accidental injury, or were more likely to have been caused by some other means.

Her minority view on shaken baby syndrome is in contrast to the opinions of the majority of experts in the field who argue the so-called triad - swelling of the brain, bleeding between the skull and brain, and bleeding in the retina - is a strong indicator of trauma.

But the tribunal, sitting in Manchester, said she put forward theories "insufficiently founded" upon the evidence in the six cases between 2006 and 2010. They found she gave evidence outside her own field of expertise and by misquoting research and literature so that it appeared to support her opinion when it did not.

It said her expert reports supported "meretricious appeals, giving false hopes to parents" in "very serious cases, based on a highly controversial subject and with great public interest".

It stated: "Your deliberately misleading and dishonest evidence in court had the potential to subvert the course of justice."