Ethical analysis of “traumatic shaking” / ”shaken baby syndrome”

The Swedish National Council on Medical Ethics has conducted an ethical analysis of ‘traumatic shaking’ with reference to the report on the subject by The Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services.

The Council has not undertaken any scientific assessment of the basic material. As such, the analysis is based on the Agency’s results as presented in the report, which can be summarised as follows:

  • “There is insufficient scientific evidence to assess the diagnostic accuracy of the triad in identifying “traumatic shaking”
  • “There is limited scientific evidence to support the concept that the triad (subdural bleeding, retinal bleeding and various forms of brain injury), and thus its constituent parts, may be caused by shaking.”
  • “The triad or its constituent parts may stem from causes other than shaking.”

Read the opinion from the Swedish ethics council: Ethical analysis of “traumatic shaking” / ”shaken baby syndrome (pdf 383 KB)

Read the full report from SBU – Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services:

Skakvåld – Triadens roll vid medicinsk utredning av misstänkt skakvåld

In English: http://www.sbu.se/en/publications/sbu-assesses/traumatic-shaking–the-role-of-the-triad-in-medical-investigations-of-suspected-traumatic-shaking/