Saturday, March 26, 2011


Maybe this will keep you going until Monday.
The questionable convictions in Ontario in the 1980's and 90's, some of which were were based upon Shaken Baby Syndrome, and some of which were because of testimony by now-disgraced pathologist Charles Smith, render Judge Crabtree's conclusion to the Bayne questionable if not impugnable.
If the Baynes' children should not be retained in the province of British Columbia foster care system because the judge dismissed SBS as a cause for one child's injuries, then there is no reason whatsoever for them to be in care. None whatsoever.

In the middle of a circle of cows
Don't tell me there is a risk. If the law cannot say that the risk is a definite 80%, or 50% or 30% then don't speak about a probability of risk. Then for Judge Crabtree to venture a 10% risk probability is fanciful nonsense, deplorable.

Of course the injuries were and are unexplained. We are back to square one. There is nothing for which the Baynes can be charged or even blamed, except for leaving an infant on a blanket on a floor where two small boys are playing and running. Keep the nature of that in mind for a moment. The most that can be said of the parents is that the girl received injury while in their care. But that cannot possibly warrant the prolonged retention of a couple's four children by a child protection agency. Three and one half years is a terrible sentence on its own. Then to tack on six more months and call it an opportunity for the parents is offensive. Children receive injuries every day while in the care of their parents and those injuries are not always easily explained. That is, parents have no excuse to offer for letting their children play alone in the back yard, or letting them climb trees, or ride mountain bikes over ramps, other than that's what people do! That's what parents do. That's life in normal families today. Our child protection sensibilities are so over the top that farm families with children who do chores would call it laughable. Where have farm family infants slept during harvest season? Have children not played on a grain farm with operating equipment and grain elevators? And more than one mother told me that she too had been in the habit of putting the baby on the floor and thinking nothing of it. I present that testimony in spite of the sanctimonious others who castigate Zabeth for having done that. I recall my friend telling me that her young sister, a Down Syndrome child went missing on the family dairy farm, wandered off. As they looked everywhere, they noticed their cows in a nearby field, assembled in a circle in a most unusual manner. At the scene they found the little girl in the middle of that circle, very safe, protected instinctively by cattle looking after the smaller creature. If our troop with its urbanized sensibilities heard about this they would likely have removed the child from the family.

Linda Nguyen, wrote a piece called Review sought for Ont. shaken baby deaths in which she mentioned that “A committee of medical and legal experts was tasked by the provincial government in December 2008 to revisit 48 convictions related to testimony and evidence in which "shaken baby syndrome" played a role. All the cases occurred between 1986 and 2006.” And then she wrote, “The theory of "shaken baby syndrome" has been in dispute in the medical community in recent years. In the past, many experts held the belief that a baby found with a specific pattern of internal head injuries must have been shaken to death, a theory that may no longer be the only explanation for the injury.

That disputation was presented convincingly enough in court that Judge Crabtree said no to SBS. Well then, if he is still going to assess probability of risk, what is that risk, of battery, of striking with an object, of throwing, what? And why? What evidence? Suspicion is too flimsy for real justice. Let's get a grip on common sense in the midst of doing justice in this province.There was no assignable risk. 
(On Monday: Judge Crabtree's verbatim Conclusion)


  1. Maybe Bethany wasnt shaken, maybe she was dropped or thrown. Who really knows. Juge Crabtree may not fully believe SBS but Bethany got injured somehow. Injuries dont just happen by themselves and there are holes in the story of what happened according to Zabeth and that is what he explained as part of his reasons for continuing the TCO for another 6 months. Obviously this child was injured, the varying stories were never proven one way or the other and the risk factor was too high for the children to be returned.

  2. You are correct. The child was injured. If one cannot accept the notion that a collision between children occurred, how can it become more acceptable to hypothesize that parent(s) dropped or three the child? I know one has to venture something because as you say, injuries are not spontaneously self-generated. Yet the Baynes offered an explanation, albeit not bought by the judge or by you I am reading. The judge felt that the risk was high enough to warrant not returning the children, at least not yet. You are right. And this is kind of last chance. Of interest to me was that the judge noted that MCFD had at one time awarded the boys to the parents' supervised care which the judge viewed as an acknowledgment that the parents were trusted enough to do that. Even on that basis, he might have returned the boys at this time. Didn't happen. That's what causes me to question risk probability assessment. It appears not to have any rules.

  3. Crabtree's decision will be tested. Doug Christie has filed notice of appeal.

  4. Anonymous 0843.
    *Sigh*. What an evil and malicious speculation to make.
    But as you said yourself, who really knows? Couldn't be you or me. We weren't there.
    But Paul and Zabeth were.
    Come on down from your judgmental pulpit and allow your mind to explore this possibility for a moment...Could it be that Bethany's injuries are not unexplained at all and her parents are telling the truth...and their children have been taken away for 3 and a half years because people like you choose not to believe them? And the "holes" in Zabeth's "story" are just a matter of stating and restating words over a course of time. And yes indeed, she is being punished for not using exactly the same words and description each time she spoke to authorities or doctors - who of course, being the perfect people they are, transcribed perfectly verbatim her words for the records that would serve as "evidence" years later. She should have of course insisted the record makers tell her what they were going to write so she could correct them if there were a word or two out of place, or a sentence missing,or any inaccuracies and of course, she should have been thoroughly composed and not distracted at all by her anxiety and concern over her children.
    I'm being sarcastic but just try, try to understand how easy it would be for errors in the details of the records to be made. They have NEVER swayed from their statement of what happened.

  5. The commenter of 8:43 AM reflects the "protection sensibilities" of our western urban thinking populous; well, at least, some of them while the GPS post considers the reality of busy people's lives around the world. It is quite a contrast.

    My grandmother told of her little niece, before the days of penicillin, who managed to pull a pot of tea onto her head by reaching to the table while the ladies were visiting at that same table. She died from the ensuing battle against infection after scalding. What would happen in BC today?
    BC has the gradual driver licensing program. AB does not. Kids are killed and injured in both provinces. Anyone can site numerous instances anywhere in the world.

    Even in hospitals, people are accidentally hurt and killed. The stats for medical "accidents" from improperly conducted procedures and from conflicting drugs which have been prescribed or administered improperly are shocking. People, even babies, can be hurt there. Last mont, at Red Deer, a young mother experienced an improperly administered spinal freezing for a Csection and against her protests, the surgeon when ahead with the procedure. Can you believe such a thing? I know it to be fact first hand. So this time, the nurses are outraged and registered a complaint.
    How does one prove a procedure caused harm to a baby? Maybe it wasn't even noted by the technicians but people like the 8:43 AM commenter just know that the parents have purposefully hurt their children. Puleeese!!! this kind of attitude is offensive in my view and I am tired of such rationale. Interrogate the hospital staff like the Baynes have been interrogated. Accuse them. Pick them apart til they are mixing up their words. Try dragging them to court to prove they did not harm the Bayne baby. That should work. How will they ever be able to absolutely prove they didn't hurt the Bayne baby?

  6. People die before they will tell the truth. Just because they never swayed from their versions of their stories of what happened to Bethany doesnt mean they are telling the truth at all.We may never know but I am thankful that Judge Crabtree doesnt buy the brother fell exactly head to head on her and I am thankful that he is being careful in returning the children. Bethany got hurt, very hurt and someone hurt her. Period.

  7. The real risk which the judges haven't yet addressed, and which their failure to do so shows their ignorance, if not their lack of humanity, is the risk of foster housing.

    The risk to a child's health, happiness and safety is clearly a grave one - this article cites several studies which make that obvious:


    "...In a study conducted in Oregon and Washington state, the rate of PTSD in adults who were in foster care for one year between the ages of 14-18 was found to be higher than that of combat veterans, with 25 percent of those in the study meeting the diagnostic criteria as compared to 12-13 percent of Iraq war veterans and 15 percent of Vietnam war veterans, and a rate of 4% in the general population. The recovery rate for foster home alumni was 28.2% as opposed to 47% in the general population..."

  8. Anon 4:34 PM (8:43 AM)
    I hear your conviction. You have been closer to this than most comment contributors.

  9. Anon 4:52 - agree. foster home is NOT ideal for any child. Being with parents is. However, the reason the kids are in foster care in the first place might just have something to do with the PTSD don'tcha think? Some kids do actually need to be protected from their parents despite what you may believe. Sorry, but kids in foster care simply can't be compared to the general public and certainly can't be compared to war veterans.

    Sorry, but a wordpress blog isn't going to convince me. Math is an exceptional thing...the numbers can be interpreted any which way a critical thinker wishes them to.

    As far as what was it - if not SBS then what? Injury caused by neglect? This was a premature child who required extra special attention and care. Not for one second should it have been left on the floor even just to "step out of the room". Sorry, doesn't fly.

  10. The thing is... health professionals told me to give my babies lots of "floor time". Apparently this strengthens their neck and back muscles, and encourages rolling and crawling. Also, it is much safer to have your baby on the floor than on a couch or chair. I was literally told by the health nurse that a baby "can't fall off the floor."

    So now what? Because a baby got hurt on the floor, it is unsafe to let a baby explore his/her surroundings? We shouldn't let them crawl around? or push up? or roll over?

    Accidents happen.

  11. Accidents happen all the time and not all of them are foreseen or preventable but that doesn't mean neglect. I have heard horror stories of parents bringing their kids into the ER for broken bones(fell off bikes, skateboards,horseback riding, skiing,etc.) and they automatically assume the parents abused them and report them to Big Brother Child Welfare. This is scaring lots of parents away from seeking medical treatment for legitimate accidents for fear it will be twisted around and they will lose their kids.Parents have to practically live in isolation and avoid outsiders now to protect their family from prying accusing eyes.Something is clearly wrong here!

  12. Kids skate boarding does not equal premature baby lying on floor unattended around active children.

    FYI - failing to take your child to the hospital for medical treatment is considered medical neglect - and you can go to jail.

  13. To Anon at March 27, 2011 9:32 PM:

    So, are you saying that there is no such thing as child protection corruption in this country? Ever heard of Charles Smith (he's no longer a doctor, and never should have been one, so I won't bother affixing his title).

    And as far as children being harmed before foster care and that causing the post traumatic stress, well you can twist it any way you want, but common sense should tell people that the most powerful and unaccountable ministry (MCFD and whatever its counterparts are in other provinces) is going to be corrup - that's just the nature of corruption - no oversight, total power = always equals corruption. Corruption means bad things happen. Politicians lie, children's lives get destroyed, etc., etc.

    And if you have an imagination - or if you are a child protection worker - you should be able to envision the horrific trauma that a child is subject to - JUST in the act of what is termed a "removal." That act alone is enough to cause enormous stress, and not something anyone, much less a child who has no way to comprehend such horror, could easily recover from.

  14. To Anonymous 9:32 pm: Then what is a parent to do? You hesitate to take your children to a doctor or hospital for fear they will wrongly blame you for your child's injuries and cry "abuse", yet if you don't take them then they can arrest you for neglect and you can still lose your kids? It's a Catch 22 situation,and you're at risk of losing your kids either way and just can't win no matter what!

  15. For March 26 8:31 PM

    One thing needs to be understood. Zabeth Bayne admits that she was careless in leaving the baby on the rug for a minute while she did something else. Nobody can offer her any admonishment that she has not offered herself.

  16. Anon at March 26, 2011 8:31 PM -

    If you have children, and especially if they are adults now, I wonder if you looked back over the years and scrutinized every moment if you could see a time when they did have something happen to them that perhaps could have (in hindsight, 20/20 of course) been prevented, or if they did actually get some injury that could have been prevented. To expect perfection of parents is ridiculous. And if you look at the record of the State as Parent, you will see it's pretty pathetic.

    If you do not have children, then you aren't really qualified to speak on the topic, as you don't know what is involved. And it's no coincidence that most of the child protection workers do not have children themselves. It must aid greatly in their work.

  17. Every year, millions of children around the world get into accidents. If we started taking all these children away from their parents, and giving them to the state (and we are more than starting to do this), the prisons and graveyards are going to get full pretty quick, if of course you believe the stats regarding the death rates and incarceration rates of foster children. And there is no reason not to believe them, as the science is sound, and it is common sense: you get bounced around in foster care, and are subject to a high risk of abuse, of all sorts, chances are you are going to be pretty screwed up.


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