Andrew H. Stevenson Attorney at Law LLC
What Kinds of Medical Experts Will I Need to Defend Myself Against False Accusations
In order to successfully defend a false claim of child abuse or shaken baby abuse you will need the assistance of medical experts. I am often asked about the different kinds of experts and what exactly each type of expert does. Below I give a brief explanation of the different kinds of medical experts needed to assist your defense attorney in building your coordinated and comprehensive defense.
Pediatric Radiologist. Pediatric radiologists are specially trained to review and interpret X-rays, CTs, and MRIs involving children. They understand the unique issues associated with growing bodies and infants. Alleged non-accidental trauma based on X-rays, MRIs or CTs, must be assessed by a board certified pediatric radiologist.
Forensic Pathologist. A forensic pathologist (also called a coroner or medical examiner) is a doctor who is specifically trained to answer questions about the cause of death and incorporate the medical findings into a legal setting. A forensic pathologist can assess the cause of death and look for explanations towards the manner of death. A well trained forensic pathologist will also be able to assist in some cases in which death did not occur.
Neuropathologists. Neuropathologists are trained to look at the brain on a cellular level. They are usually only needed in cases where an autopsy has been performed. As normal course in an autopsy, small sections of different areas of the brain are removed and stored as "slides." An examination of the cells of the brain can reveal a great deal about the age, nature, and cause of the brain injuries.
Metabolic Bone Disease. I consider this to be a broad categorization of the several types of experts who can help assess whether or not a child suffered from any kind of metabolic bone disease. Metabolic bone disease generally refers to any underlying medical condition that may make a child's bones weaker than normal, and hence, susceptible to fracture or injury from non-traumatic or unintentional acts The experts in this category may include geneticists, Vitamin D experts, collagen disorder experts, or other pediatric doctors with research or experience in pediatric cases of weaker than normal bones.
Ophthalmologist (Optometrist). Often retinal hemorrhages are an issue in cases of alleged child abuse. Determining the age, cause and/or nature of the hemorrhages may require the assistance of an ophthalmologist or Optometrist.