Dead Baby Mystery

Good Essays
In his, essay, "The Dead Baby Mystery," Gawande mentions a child abuse court case that involves the deaths of eight children of Marie Noe that no one could explain. As an example of how no one could explain the deaths, Gawande writes, "some of the most respected pathologists of the time, could find no explanation for the crib deaths" (202) and "Foul play was strongly considered, but no evidence was found" (202). With the use of these points in his essay, Gawande presents a broader sense that cases, like Marie Noe, for child abuse do not have an easy outcome in determining guilt. Even three decades later — Marie Noe's case was reopened, and the judged charged her — one of the officials wrote back to Gawande explains "that there was no direct…show more content…
The author explains that cases use science because "one great appeal is the idea that it can erase uncertainties" (203). This statement that Gawande wrote would be a reason that the child abuse case would use the science. However, not much later, Gawande presents the irony of the use science in that he writes, "it tends to raise as many questions as it answers,"(203) thus, showing one of its limits. Providing another limit that science has, Gawande writes a disease-like condition called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This condition that he wrote is out of human control that infants die. With SIDS, Gawande explains that it "is not really a disease, but rather the name doctors have given to one of the great medical mysteries of our time" (203). What he has explained is that the condition is an uncertainty to the doctors, and presenting SIDS as a consideration would mean that the evidence for abuse would be questioned. Looking at Noe's case as an example, Gawande writes that SIDS would be in a realm of possibilities. His line of reasoning is that "the original autopsies had revealed no marks of force" (203). Writing this, he proposes that SIDS may have been an unfortunate event that happened to Noe, even if it was eight infant deaths. With what Gawande examined, if they judge Marie Noe with the use of science, such as the example evidence of SIDS, she will be judged from circumstantial evidence. With all that of what Gawande describes the limits of science, he writes, "Science often can provide only circumstantial evidence" (204), explaining that it is how science is limited in the use of determining the guilt of a child abuse
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