January 17, 1996

People v Henderson: The Prosecution Responds-Reply

Author Affiliations

Stanford University School of Nedicine Stanford, Calif
Medical Examiner's Office San Francisco, Calif
National Medical Service Laboratories Willow Grove, Pa
University of Miami School of Medicine Miami, Fla

JAMA. 1996;275(3):183-184. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530270023016

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In Reply.  —We appreciate the letter from the prosecuting attorney. It illustrates eloquently the difficulties we had with this case. If there were a law that states a mother is totally responsible for any adverse event in her child's life, then Ms Henderson would be guilty. But is not that the same type of reasoning that put many parents of infants who died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in jail? Our point was and still is that it is improper to pretend to use science to adjudicate a predetermined end.Regarding the reimbursement received for testifying, we received a total of $11135. As itemized in the Editor's note, this sum barely covered out-of-pocket expenses and does not reflect the time and professional work we devoted to this case.Ms Green assumes that the methamphetamine came from breast milk, although the mother had not used the drug for 2 or