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Why admitted cases of AHT make a low quality reference standard: A survey of people accused of AHT in France

Rossant, C; Brook, C; (2023) Why admitted cases of AHT make a low quality reference standard: A survey of people accused of AHT in France. Forensic Science International: Synergy , 6 , Article 100312. 10.1016/j.fsisyn.2022.100312. Green open access

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Abstract

Several influential articles that attempt to establish diagnostic methods for Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) use admitted cases as a reference standard. This study analyses a survey of people accused of AHT in France, to understand the environment and situations in which such admissions are made. Multiple reasons to question the reliability of admissions to AHT are demonstrated in the responses, including reduced sentences, the return of children to the family home, a desire to stop accusations being leveled at a partner and for legal proceedings to end. These factors must be considered in the context of proceedings that are long, expensive and stressful, leading to depression and financial hardship, and that seem to be inevitably heading towards conviction. The ineluctable conclusion is that admitted cases do not make a suitably reliable reference standard for undertaking scientific investigation, or for validating the diagnostic methods used for AHT.

Type: Article
Title: Why admitted cases of AHT make a low quality reference standard: A survey of people accused of AHT in France
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.fsisyn.2022.100312
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsisyn.2022.100312
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bync-nd/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10163304
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