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October 10, 2017

Flawed Theories to Explain Child Physical Abuse: What Are the Medical-Legal Consequences?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 2Dell Children’s Medical Center, Austin, Texas
JAMA. 2017;318(14):1317-1318. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11703

Over the last 2 decades, a small number of pediatricians, radiologists, neurosurgeons, pathologists, attorneys, and journalists have advanced scientifically unsupported theories both in publications and in the courtroom to explain the findings of physical abuse of children. These individuals have not only obscured facts about child abuse but also generated controversy and confusion among both the public and the medical community about the diagnosis of child physical abuse and, in particular, the diagnosis of abusive head trauma.

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