'Incensed' Southall attacks press slurs

April 9, 2004

Beleaguered paediatrician David Southall claimed this week that misrepresentation of leading academics' views on child abuse was destroying careers.

Professor Southall said Sir Roy Meadow, the widely criticised child abuse expert, had been vilified for theories that were not his own. He said: "I'm incensed by the attempts to destroy his reputation."

Professor Southall said the so-called "Meadow's law" - that one sudden infant death is a tragedy, two is suspicious, three is murder - was taken from research published by another academic in Forensic Pathology in 1989.

He said Sir Roy was attacked for stating incorrectly that the risk of two infants dying of sudden infant death syndrome was one in 73 million, when this statistic was taken from a government website.

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