Clinical Negligence & Catastrophic Injury Solicitors
Expert witness "misled Courts".
A leading doctor who was an expert witness for parents accused of killing their children has been found to have misled courts.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) ruled that Dr Waney Squier had given irresponsible evidence outside her area of expertise.
Dr Squier, 67, based at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital, has provided evidence to dispute the existence of "shaken baby syndrome.”
Opening the case for the General Medical Council (GMC) last October (2015), Tom Kark QC, said Dr Squier's conduct was affected by her "preconceived and blinkered approach. She failed in her overriding duty to remain objective and assist the court."
Mr Kark added that among those misled would have been the families and other parties to litigation - judges, lawyers and the other experts.
In most of the cases, Dr Squier - who had not actively worked in paediatrics for more than 40 years - was the sole expert instructed on one side of the litigation.
She had given evidence in between 150 and 200 cases since the mid-1990s involving either medical negligence or cause of deaths in early months and years of life.
The MPTS considered her work as an expert witness in six cases, including the deaths of four babies and a 19-month-old child.
In each case, Dr Squier, a paediatric neuropathologist, gave evidence stating the injuries were not consistent with non-accidental injury, or were more likely to have been caused by other means.
But the panel found she misrepresented research to support her views and had brought the reputation of her profession into disrepute.
Her minority view on shaken baby syndrome was in contrast to the opinions of the majority of experts in the field, who argue the so-called triad - swelling of the brain, bleeding between the skull and brain and bleeding in the retina - is a strong indicator of abuse.
The panel heard Dr Squier disagreed with those opinions unless there was other evidence of external or internal injury.
In her evidence, she was "dogmatic, inflexible and unreceptive to any other view" which led her "to misrepresent and 'cherry-pick' from the literature", it said.
After the finding, Dr Squier said: "I am devastated. I've done my best to give an opinion based on my experience, based on the best evidence I can find to support my view."
She added that her view was "backed by many, many people who are cleverer than I am, who are scientists".