Michael F. Holick, director of Boston Medical Center’s Bone Health Care Clinic, has been attacked recently on national television. His critics contend his testimony in defense of parents of children with bone fractures lacks scientific support.
Dr. Holick believes Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, can cause fractures that other doctors say must be the result of assaults or other very rough handling of the injured children.
The attacks on Holick exemplify what most physicians willing to testify for the defense in child abuse cases must endure. The American medical establishment hobbles the careers of these physicians in various ways. Sometimes the critics attempt even to get the physicians’ medical licenses revoked.
The problem is so grave that many regions of the country have no physicians willing to testify for the defense. In my practice in Seattle and throughout Washington State, I almost always have to turn to medical expert witnesses who live outside the Northwest.