Monday, July 26, 2010

SBS - TRIAD OF SYMPTOMS / Part 259 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/

SBS – based on a diagnostic triad of symptoms

Shaking an infant is a reprehensible action. We commend and support every effort to reduce the risks to children by caregivers who do not know how to understand the baby’s needs or cope with a baby’s cries and behaviour.

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a medical diagnosis based on the presence of a diagnostic triad: (1) retinal bleeding, (2) bleeding in the protective layer of the brain, and (3) brain swelling. Baby B had at least two of these.  She was a sick baby girl. A well informed doctor when faced with an injured child with no evidence of physical abuse other than the triad of SBS symptoms will consider it his/her duty to be cautious for the sake of both the child and the parents. A respected pediatrician from Vancouver Children’s Hospital diagnosed Baby B as a Shaken Baby. (Possibly Baby B did not have the third factor of the triad - brain swelling. Her head did swell six centimeters prior to a delayed CT scan, yet in court Dr. Colbourne herself said Baby B's actual brain was not swollen. Baby B had a build up of blood and spinal fluid due to a three week delay which caused her head to grow, but the brain swelling itself is negligible.)

Presently, reporting regulations require that when retinal hemorrhages and subdural hematomas are discovered in a child, the child is immediately referred to protective services. A mitigating factor must be a believable story from the parent or care giver. If the story cannot be corroborated and if it is merely a story about a household mishap rather than a motor vehicle accident or something similarly unfortunate, SBS is the assumed assessment. Reports appear to indicate that little or no consideration was given to her premature birth and the bone fragility and chemical deficiencies consequent to that. (Bethany was born early at 34 weeks resulting in some bone deficiency. Upon birth she had feeding challenges, nutritionally anemic with concern about Vitamin D deficiency, losing some weight and being fed by a tube and needing to stay in hospital for two weeks prior to release.)

Typically, charges will not be laid if the story is supported by a credible witness or two. If that story is not convincing, then the SBS diagnosis is applied and the caregiver is put under suspicion and possibly charged. A Shaken Baby has to have a shaker, and the immediate question is who would be the most likely shaker? One or both of the parents, perhaps. The child will not receive further testing for alternative causes.

With that background data it was reasonable that the Bayne children were taken from the parents in order to protect the children. The Ministry discounted the Bayne’s story of an accidental fall of one child on to their baby girl. The accident scenario was reported and recorded in medical records at various hospitals and clinics over three weeks following the accident. A later CT scan of Baby B's head confirmed internal bruising precisely at the spot on her head which Zabeth had identified as the area of contact between brother and sister. The attendant physician verified that this bruise was consistent with a contusion at that head location.

That was then. Zabeth and Paul must have looked alarmed and frantic while being subjected to interrogation, arrest, criminal charge and, fingerprinting. Then the charges were dropped and RCMP extended a wish of ‘good luck.’  You don’t put on your best face during a crisis like that. In the days, weeks and months that followed, the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) was inundated with letters speaking to the parents’ character, integrity and reliability. Would those references be enough to counter the unexplained head trauma? Not at all. A primary social worker said in court that he had not read them.

• MCFD pursued an unsubstantiated allegation, let’s call it a suspicion that Baynes shook their baby girl.
• SBS is unproven among biomechanic specialists and pathologists as a valid scientific finding.
• The SBS diagnosis of a Child Protection doctor who examined baby Bayne was challenged by ten prominent medical experts who communicated with the Baynes and whose reports were filed with the MCFD and its lawyer.
• The validity of SBS Shaken Baby Syndrome is being questioned in courts internationally.
• Some courts are banning the use of SBS as a prosecutorial cause and are overturning previous convictions.
• MCFD treatment of Paul and Zabeth appears to demonstrate an intention to permanently remove the Bayne children from their birth parents.

The reliability of an SBS diagnosis however, has become progressively more doubtful as research has increased. In the early 2000’s SBS skeptics emerged particularly with regard to SBS’s legitimacy as a diagnosis when used within the court for prosecution purposes and the number of skeptics has created into a reform movement in the United States and in Canada.

How prolific must misdiagnoses be in North America that innocent people and advocates for innocent people feel compelled to create an entire defence program and a website to assist one another to overcome invasive assaults by government children’s’ agencies. While ostensibly created to protect children, in more cases than any of us desire to know, such agencies through ill advised decisions have destroyed entire families and squander children’s’ futures because the right decisions were not made.

Here is a website called Shaken Baby Syndrome Defense. It wouldn’t exist apart from the appalling quantity of parents and caregivers who have been suspected, charged, convicted and sentenced wrongfully for shaking a baby, when in fact the physical symptoms being flagged have been misdiagnosed.


  1. People are currently in prison charged with murder because of this bogus diagnosis, SBS.

    I still wonder though, did the injury to Bethany occur WHILE she was in the care of the Baynes, or was it the result of something that occurred elsewhere, such as in a hospital setting? Was Bethany, that is, injured by the medical system itself? And what proof do we have that she was not injured by the medical system, or staff? It is not inconceivable that this could happen. Babies and children are injured while in government and hospital care. All the time. It would be very convenient to blame it on the parents, accident or not.

  2. In answer to Anon 9:54 AM

    You were wondering: “I still wonder though, did the injury to Bethany occur WHILE she was in the care of the Baynes, or was it the result of something that occurred elsewhere, such as in a hospital setting? Was Bethany, that is, injured by the medical system itself? And what proof do we have that she was not injured by the medical system, or staff? It is not inconceivable that this could happen. Babies and children are injured while in government and hospital care. All the time. It would be very convenient to blame it on the parents, accident or not.”

    Paul and Zabeth took her to Hope and Chilliwack and Abbotsford hospitals not initially because they believed she was injured but rather for her listlessness, non appetite and a number of other troubling indicators. Certainly they had been disturbed by the at home mishap of one child falling on another but they couldn't make the immediate connection between that frightening episode and the early set of symptoms. Certainly as medical interaction began pointing to head trauma and possible serious repercussions they related the accident.

    Paul and Zabeth themselves have never suggested that the baby's injuries might have occurred in one of the medical facilities. To my knowledge there is no way of proving whether this did or did not happen. While it is not inconceivable, at this juncture it does not appear to be probable in this case. The Baynes would have to tell us whether the child was in hospital care without their presence during the initial days of the girl's distress.

  3. Going Public does work!


    Family gets children back

    Leah and Steve Flagg said their problems were also solved after speaking out. The Kamloops couple approached CBC Go Public in April, after they could find no help for their mentally ill adult son.

    Leah and Steve Flagg got help for their mentally ill son, and their other children were returned to them. (CBC)"What we have seen — since the story aired — is that with enough motivation our government can do for its people what it has promised," wrote Leah Flagg.

    Read more:

  4. Perhaps a moment of levity is in order. Take a look at these examples of "parenting fail" photos:

  5. Should something like this:

    happen in BC now?

    Given the nature and the magnitude of ministry-created atrocities, political awareness and rectifications are long overdue. What do our MLA do in Victoria other than raising taxes and their own salaries?

  6. As surprising as it may seem to say, I think publicity is working for the Baynes in the long run.

    It would be simplistic to say that if the Baynes didn't go public with Global TV just days before their boys were returned, they might not be in this position, in a protracted court battle.

    It is very likely MCFD would much rather do their CCO applications with a minimum of fuss and attention and expense. A cost analysis of all CCO applications is in order, and a report on what doctors are reporting such injuries. Are there a few select doctors with high volume, or are these spread out evenly across the Province?

    MCFD got caught doing what they normally do, skimming off children from the abuse ward at a hospital for profit. It cannot get much more simple than that. The Baynes shaking a 6-week premature 7-1/2 pound baby senseless when they have already successfully brought up a child that was 15-weeks premature?

    If a judge was deciding this case and there was no media attention, and he had to decide with the seemingly overwhelming medical evidence presented, (s)he might just well give MCFD the benefit of the doubt (which is the perverse principal of a Presentation hearing) and award a CCO. It is, however, a SAFE decision. Imagine returning the child then having the Ministry re-aprehend and to say "I told you so."

    After all, what could the Baynes do? Appeal on an error of law that itself that has been deliberately designed to disadvantage parents? One only has to examine how many successful appeals exist that reversed a judge's CCO decision.

  7. One day, those who support child removal will pull out graphic photos to prove that children are abused by their parents and need protection from the state.

    Anonymous (July 26, 2010 4:27 PM) cited:

    where some of the photos taken are from foreign countries, some do not constitute abuse serious enough for removal, some are probably intended to be a joke.

    Child abuse happens everywhere everyday. Other laws besides CFCSA has already given authorities sufficient power to intervene and separate abusive parents and vulnerable children based on good evidence and due process. The general child removal authority granted in CFCSA does not prevent child abuse and open the entire system to corruption, wrongful removals and abuse of power.

  8. In response to Anon 5:35pm, Why would any child protection organization need to stoop to gratuitous photos when I can instead see these on Far more effective is graphic statistics on the public relations arms of child protection at work, see, for example.

    Images of happy children promote an image of a benevelant, caring child protection systen. Giver of child tax benefit. Provider of valuable services for children and parents. Licensers and overseers of daycare operations. Child protection does not need to use graphic images of children damaged by people they know.

    If I recall a TV ad put out (excuse me, but how can a non-profit organization even afford, or care about having nation wide TV Ads?), 93% of children are "abused" by people known to them. This is the child protection business model.

    Other statistics mention that 25% of injured children brought to hospital emergency wards are abused.

    Certainly injuries of dead children where privacy concerns are no longer a worry would find their way into newspapers, but not through any official MCFD direct efforts.

    Child protection already have the police advertise juicy abuse stories such as shaken baby syndrome that are fed to news organizations through regular news releases.

    Graphic images and identification is not "child friendly" and is likely counter productive. Careful wording can be more effective for instilling horror and anger at perpetrators.

    This works like magic to underscore the importance of child protection. Social workers then whine about lack of funding while, as Ray Ferris notes (and I have experienced) files are kept open needlessly long to create the image of overwork, and children in care burn up dollars at a rate 10 to 100 times that of natural parental care.

    Hiding the true cost of this so-called child protection business is this Ministry's true skill. All these little underpaid MCFD worker bees are working too hard to keep children in care for as long as possible.

    The "why" of all this still needs a solid answer, and it is not "because we are protecting children." There are better ways to accomplish this task.

  9. Anonymous 9:50 PM (43 minutes ago) - I deleted one paragraph. the rest of the submission as as you sent it.
    Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "SBS - TRIAD OF SYMPTOMS / Part 259 / For Love and...":
    I found a crude example of a shaking baby video at

    Doctors waited 3 weeks too long to order CT and MRI scans despite the parents impact explanation.

    The parents did their job bringing their child to the hospital, the doctors collectively failed in their job, and the MCFD vultures are profiting on the aftermath.

    The radiologist is up next for MCFD evidence, so this should be interesting to see how he too will discount any possible conclusion other than Colbourne's SBS diagnosis. Will he will comment on the 3-week delay?

    This tiny baby was about 6 weeks premature, born at week 34 instead of week 40. The date of the injury is just about when the baby would normally have been born, so Bethany's adjusted age is zero weeks old.

    If you look at the medical documents, Bethany was tiny, 7-1/2 pounds at the date of the injury, so why is she still alive after this SBS event? Not only alive, but seeing, walking, talking, and attached to mom and dad.

    Take a look at the video, and tell me if it is more likely the Baynes shook their baby in the manner shown in the video, or could it MORE LIKELY have something to do with the dozen or so doctors not doing anything for three weeks while Bethany deteriorated.

    Look at the earlier link posted by an Anon commenter about forced adoptions in the U.K. "" and search for the word "Munchausen".

    I suspect MCFD knew how weak their position was after the RCMP refused to file charges, so they first gave the boys back to the Baynes as a first step towards withdrawal.

    Conspiracy theories aside, the Baynes definitely put a monkey wrench into the works by going public. Knowing now how MCFD operates, this is likely the best decision they could have made, because now, everyone is watching.

    Watching the Ministry collectively scrambling to convince the judge with "facts" that support their position really is an eye opener on how MCFD fundamentally corrupt they are, how they think and plan, and how they needlessly expend resources and money with impunity.

    In my view, the Baynes have nothing to worry about. Mr. Christie has effectively done his job in discrediting the Ministry's evidence.

    The judge risks his career in the public eye if he gives in to anything the we might perceive as political pressure to decide in the Ministry's favour.

    The silence from the deputy minister is notable in this case, as she is on record as intervening in writing on at least one other CCO case that I know of that has resulted in the Ministry reversing its position and returning the child to the parent.

    There was the CBC story that published the fact the Ministry wrote a message about Bethany having Glutaric Aciduria, something that can be confused an SBS diagnosis. Does Bethany have GA or not?

    Another U.K. journalist looked at the case and the prescriptions and observed the doubling up of drugs for both Bethany and Zabeth is another possible source of a mistaken SBS diagnosis.

    Really, take your pick, anything except SBS fits. Regardless, the weight of fault lies with the medical establishment in not diagnosing "something" within a 3-week period.

    Consider also, the Hoffman's provided a complaint on October 13th of the boys being too small for their age, despite their testimony they helped feed them for the year previous.
    This is just 9 days before the October 22nd removal and 17 days AFTER the first hospital visit.

    I say "Hmmm."

  10. What the site seems to be saying generally is that an SBS diagnosis works to forcefully displace other valid explanations.

    Doctors, quite simply should not be making legal decisions of guilt. This relieves MCFD of having to do their investigative duty. Doctors can, however, certainly be suggesting probabilities and avenues of query for MCFD investigators.

    Doctors can query an explanation provided to them and suggest that the information does not add up and inquire further, or suggest that qualified experts do this.

    The legal definition of abuse is pretty clear.
    Abuse is the "deliberate intent" whether accident or planned where the expectation is to cause physical injury.

    The criminal code is clear in that there is an allowance for physical contact provided it is reasonable in nature and in context with punishment.

    Declaration of abuse is where the burden of proof is required. Doctors provide some of that, not all.

    While a spanking is not illegal, it can be applied abusively and become excessive. Lasting bruises, permanent injury, broken bones or damaged organs, frequency of application, intensity and length of application, some or all of these are considerations in this determination.

    A chart I found in a document labelled "Corporal Punishment, Physical Abuse, and the Burden of Proof" by Elizabeth Thompson Gershoff at Columbian University, includes a little chart that lists normative and abusive range of a typical spanking.

    1. Number of spanks or hits in a given episode (Normal is 2-3, Abusive is 20-30)
    2. Frequency of spanking or hitting episodes across a given time period (Normal is 1 spanking episode per week, Abusive is 4 spanking episodes per day)
    3. Age of the child (Normal is 3 years old, Abusive is 3 months old)
    4. Force with which the spank or hit is administered (Normal is firm taps on child's behind, Abusive is hitting the child on the behind with all of a parent's strength)
    5. Where on the child's body the spank or hit is administered (Normal is the buttocks, Abusive is the Face.
    6. Type of object used (Normal is none, belt or paddle, Abusive is Electrical cord; length of wood)

    This makes the definition of abuse less subjective. A jury of one's peers would help in some deterimination of what is considered normal or abusive.

    In an example of a child that is observed by a stranger to have an appearance of a bruise, a child is interviewed and states he does occassionally get a spanking, but the parent explains it is an alergic rash not as a result of punishment.

    Here is where is "reasonable belief" and "precaution" kicks in and is greatly abused by social workers. The low threshold of what constitutes abuse and a difference of evidence is all that is required to justify a removal to a Provincial judge.

    The above chart of abuse does not even get looked at until the protection trial several years down the road.

    The CFCSA is a bastardization of civil and criminal law. A Civil Supreme Court process would be more informal and there would be a much higher emphasis on getting the initial information up front, as detailed as possible in writing, sworn, and would be examined by a judge with authority to return children on the spot, and not be hamstrung by the aformentioned "difference of evidence" problem, and "likliehood of injury" argument. If the social worker did not do their investigative homework, the child would simply be returned, perhaps under a supervision order.

    The totality of such evidence, if absent and all that remains is a doctor's report, abuse cannot be declared.

    Another favourite term of social workers and law is "reasonable grounds."
    A removal is done on reasonable grounds. Police have reasonable grounds to apprehend, arrest you, record your particulars and question you. Once the reasonableness is no longer justified, you are let go, like the Baynes were absolved of guilt by the RCMP. MCFD reasonably let the two boys return home.

  11. In response to Mr. Ray Ferris' comment on July 9, 2010 4:27 PM (Part 244):

    "Sufficient be it to say that the ministry does not discriminate. They abuse everyone equally." (2nd last paragraph)

    This is not true. MCFD does discriminate against the First Nation families. On a per capita basis, a Native family attracts the attention of MCFD 10 times more than a non-Native family. Be mindful that about 50% of children in "care" are Natives. Why? Because the federal government provides subsidies on removal of Native children on a per head basis. The only removal statistics on ethnic background kept by MCFD are on Natives. They need this statistic to claim federal funding.

    Furthermore, a research paper titled "The Overrepresentation of Minorities in the Child Welfare System" (Lance Carroll II, Journal of Undergraduate Research Volume 6, Issue 7 - May June 2005) published on this issue can be at:

    Another discrimination ground is social class. Poor families apparently attract much more attention than rich families. This is not to say that richer families never have their children removed. Usually, it is older spoiled children who complain to MCFD for mental abuse if their parents do not give them say $3,000 of pocket money to spend each month. Ironically, child removal authority is even abused by children themselves.

  12. A Well written series of clarifications Anon 11:40 PM. Helpful for us all.

  13. I wonder if a study has been done looking into "out of care" options for Aboriginal children in BC. Is the number of "near 50%" of kids in care being Aboriginal have to do with there being little to no option other than foster care? IE, they looked but couldn't find a suitable relative/family member to care for the child instead of foster care? I have no clue. It'd be rather illuminating either way.

    Point of my post is this - there are LOADS of good comments on this particular blog posting. BUT, I still see such a great amount of folks wanting/intending to lump ALL sw's in the same boat. ALL SW's apparently want children in foster care. ALL removals are a for-profit conspiracy. ETC ETC.

    It's alarming. Many SW's work LONG and HARD to not only find alternatives to foster care, but to get kids OUT of foster care as quickly as possible. Many work LONG and HARD to educate themselves and improve their practice.

    I urge you all to start using phrases such as "in my experience, MY social worker..." not..."MCFD always..." "ALL SW's will and do..." etc. Ron, what is the phrase; "No one is ever anything all the time"? I believe there is Christian scripture to support this as well.

    I will make a generalist statement, just to contradict myself. SW's do NOT want kids in foster care EVER - even when there is no other option due to severe abuse. I am human after all, so to contradict myself is my weakness.

  14. CW - I hear you. I for one can certainly recognize SWs who sincerely try to do their work effectively and compassionately. I do not need to generalize in order to make a point. I try not to generalize. Some of the comments are not so generous. Their injuries are so severe that all they can see is the system. Perhaps some writers will try to heed your request.

  15. Ron, your posts are almost always fair and factual. Apologies for any confusion. My post was not directed at you.

    I most definitely recognize the hurt caused by so many, and so unjustly. Please, no one confuse my request not to lump all SW's together with that being minimizing your hurts.

  16. It's OK CW, I was not being super-sensitive. I did not perceive you speaking to me per se, but to the point of fairness.

  17. CW,

    I find it troubling that on such a disturbing blog - revealing such disturbing behaviour on the part of social workers and other employees of MCFD, that you are, once again, trying to convince parents who are making comments about MCFD that they are not being fair.

    I haven't read one comment on here from parents who have been abused by MCFD that didn't strike me as much more restrained than it could be, given the fact that these are people who have had their hearts and souls ripped from them in the most cruel manner. Please have a little more compassion, and less criticism, for the way these people write. They are already censoring themselves admirably.

    If you want to cheer on social workers, perhaps you should join or speak up on one of the countless thousands of youtube channels, blogs, newspaper articles, etc. that are already doing just that, and let this one blog - this very unique and rare blog - say what it has to say. These parents have almost no where else to go. Please let them say their piece, in peace.

  18. Anon 10:37 - If you review my post you will see I am talking about generalizations. You will also see I have trumpeted change in child protection practice historically on this web page.

    Of note, I just spoke with a former SW with Aboriginal families who did confirm the reason so many Aboriginal children are in care instead of with family/friends following removal is the lack of appropriate family/friend options. This is a generalization of course, and there are certainly exceptions this. (Ie, Chris Martell's own son who was placed with family/friends by his ex-partner prior to the voluntary placement).

  19. CW,

    I have been reading your posts, and I can see that you basically are here to support MCFD, despite your claim of wanting change.

  20. I do support MCFD - a lot of great work and people do various jobs throughout the organization. Why does this mean I can't also be a supporter of change?

    Please share, I am open to hearing why you are seemingly against this.


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