Monday, April 11, 2011

CHRISTIE'S FINAL SUBMISSION installment 9 Sergent, Gardiner and Alexander / 499

On Friday we published points 21-26 from the transcript of Doug Christie's final SUBMISSION IN RESPONSE to Finn Jensen's closing summation. It was delivered on behalf of Paul and Zabeth Bayne on November 4, 2010. This is a public document. This is the ninth installment in a brief series of quotations.
Today in Christie's own words, here are... Submissions and Analysis, points 26-29 continued ….

"27. Mr. Jensen’s arguments. Mr. Jensen tries various ways to discredit the defence medical witnesses. He is especially keen to discredit Dr. Plunkett whose testimony did the most damage to the director’s case. He talks about three frailties in the testimony of the doctors. While his arguments are fallacious, we will address them just as a matter of process. He cites the three frailties as 1. Many of the defence doctors are not in active practice and thus their testimony is not as valuable as that of the director’s doctors. Being in practice or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is being up to date on the research and literature. The expertise gained over years of practice does not suddenly stop when one retires. One can well argue that retired doctors with keen interests have much more time to keep current than those who are in practice. In any case some of the witnesses are in practice. Besides convinced SBS promoters like Dr. Alexander and Dr. Colbourne are unlikely to seek out contradictory research with any diligence. 2. The doctors seek out cases for the defence and show bias. There is no evidence to support this. They do not seek out cases. The cases seek them out and it just happens that they are never asked to testify for the prosecution. Alexander and Colbourne never appear for the defence, which makes them equally biased. 3. Defence experts relied only on Mrs. Baynes information of sibling impact, whereas director relied on a qualified medical team at children’s hospital. No evidence before court that sibling impact took place. Once more a fallacious argument. Defence doctors can accept the information from the mother, if they feel that it is consistent with the medical findings and they can make informed opinions. What a strange idea that doctors can only use what has been given in evidence in court! In any case Mr. Jensen is wrong that the history of sibling collision has not been entered in evidence in court. Long before Mrs. Baynes testified, several of his own witnesses confirmed that she had reported the collision. Dr. Colbourne among others confirmed that this was her explanation, as did documentation from the ministry. They may only have done so with the intention of discrediting Mrs. Baynes, but there it was reported, right in sworn testimony. As one of the doctors pointed out. You have an eyewitness report from the mother. Does Dr. Colbourne then have a crystal ball?"

"28. Dr. Gardiner’s testimony. Mr. Jensen goes through her qualifications and goes through all the possible causes for retinal injury. It is no surprise that they come up with shaking as the only diagnosis remaining. We knew that was what she would say all along. Although she discounts the bump on the head, she does confirm that the Baynes have been consistent with this account. She was aware that the Baynes had made many trips to hospitals trying to get a diagnosis. She cites this as proof of non-accidental injury. There were very good reasons for those trips and her interpretation is extremely biased. She discounts the opinions of the defence doctors that prolonged SDH can cause retinal bleeding. In essence she is denying the research and the literature. Even their own witness, Dr. Sergeant says that the bleeding has gone on too long to make an exact diagnosis possible, so how is it that she can be so adamant? Like Dr. Colbourne when the defence doctors offer other differential diagnoses, all she can keep saying is that she disagrees. Dr. Plunkett says that the default diagnosis is not shaking, but cause unknown. Naturally, she disagrees."

"29. Dr. Alexander. As can be expected, he supports the shaken baby diagnosis. That is what he was hired to do. He automatically disagrees with Dr. Plunkett on just about everything and rejects alternate diagnoses. He portrays Plunkett as among a small minority of doctors outside the mainstream. In spite of all the care he slips up. He denies that there is any serious debate about the SBS hypothesis. He says that there is no debate in medical circles, but there is debate in the courts. This is a self-contradiction, because how can there be debate in the courts unless there are medical experts arguing with each other. He shows that there is indeed debate among doctors. In outlining Dr. Alexander’s credentials, Mr. Jensen fails to mention that he is on the board of the National Shaken Baby Center. This information should immediately alert the court to the probability of bias and an automatic rebuttal of alternative diagnoses. I do not think that this doctor’s evidence should be given much weight. His credibility is in inverse proportion to his fee. "
to be continued .......


  1. Confession Day.
    Ron; I know you are a nonconformist priest, but today I am going to use you as my confessor, so please hear me while I make a full confession of all my biases. Yes, the director was quite right, I am completely biased and here is the proof.
    My first confession is that I have a strong bias towards the rule of law. When this is applied to the Child family and community services act, I have a bias for following both the letter and the spirit of the law. The guidelines preach timeliness and continuity of care and I have a bias towards that. They stress that a child must be kept home if possible and section 72 emphasises that kinship care should be used if possible. I am biased towards that, but obviously in these respects the director is completely free of bias. Why cannot we all have his objectivity?
    Another bias I have is that parents should be given full and prompt disclosure. The director should communicate his intentions clearly and in writing. Silly of me to be so biased, because obviously the director, by a supreme effort of will, has managed to rid himself of such biases.
    Another bias I have is that when children are in care, the parents should be treated as kindly as possible and always with respect. I also have a bias towards the material produced by the Ontario association of children's aid societies, when they state that all access visits should be in the parents' home as soon as possible and unsupervised visits should be started as soon as possible.
    Obviously the director has no such biases and he must consider it irrelevant that the judge hs ruled minimal risk and he wants the children returned if possible. He cannot display such weakness and bias and must keep up draconian supervision until the day the children are returned. One has to admire such stern resolve.

  2. And Ray, because you have come to me with deep conviction and sincerity to confess these biases, I assure you of my confidentiality with regards to these matters.

  3. "His (Dr. Alexander's) credibility is in inverse proportion to his fee. "



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