Kahui twins did not die from abuse, says expert

The Kahui twins died of natural causes according to a controversial medical opinion given to the coroner for an upcoming inquest into their deaths.

The report by Dr Damian Wojcik, a police medical examiner in Whangarei for 16 years, hypothesised that the 3-month-old babies died from Barlow's disease - or infant scurvy from a severe vitamin C deficiency - rather than Shaken Baby Syndrome. Dr Wojcik has claimed that Barlow's disease could explain the bruises, subdural bleeding and fractures found in the bodies of Chris and Cru Kahui, who died in June 2006. But the unorthodox report sent to the coroner has been dismissed by an independent pathologist and will not be aired as evidence at an inquest on the deaths of the twins due to be held this year. Chief Coroner Neil MacLean, a District Court judge, confirmed that the medical opinion had been dismissed but declined to comment further. All Crown and defence witnesses at the 2008 murder trial of Chris Kahui, who was acquitted, agreed that the twins were shaken to death and suffered multiple fractures.

Dr Wojcik told the Weekend Herald he was aware that his theory that the Kahui twins were not murdered would be treated with scepticism. "It is controversial and I have to say some medical practitioners wouldn't believe a word of it." But he said that extreme vitamin C deficiency could cause the haemorrhaging in skin, brain, and subdural spaces as well as the pathological fractures suffered by the Kahui twins. "This is a hypothesis I mulled over for many months. When I submitted that report to the coroner, he had it peer reviewed and the pathologist basically doesn't believe a word of it."....The Weekend Herald understands the Office of the Coroner was initially thrown by the natural causes theory but now considers it a "red herring".

Simon Mount - one of the Crown prosecutors at the trial - is now a barrister acting on behalf of the police at the inquest. He declined to comment on Dr Wojcik's claims but Lorraine Smith, defence counsel for Kahui, said she appreciated the time Dr Wojcik had taken to raise a theory with the coroner.

"His views may not be orthodox, but who knows what the position will be in 20 years' time? People rubbished Galileo and he was proven right," said Mrs Smith.

"But whoever, or whatever, killed the twins was definitely not Chris Kahui."....


Galileo? I think the lawyer is blinded by pseudoscience.

I know where I've heard this Vitamin C/Scurvy thing before. In my many debates with pro-disease mongers, I've had several use quotes from Archie Kalokerinos. Kalokerinos claimed Sudden Infant Death syndrome (SIDS) and Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) was caused by Vitamin C deficiency. He also linked this with vaccines because he claimed that the "toxin insult" of vaccines placed more demand for vitamin C, leading to acute scurvy, leading to death. He was associated with cases like the Yurko case. This isn't a new idea at all, not in anti-vaccination circles anyway where everything and anything can be blamed on vaccines. Also completely wrong, with infantile scurvy being near to non-existent in developed nations. It's always associated with a history of malnutrition and often complicated by multiple deficiencies. It takes about 3 months of severe vitamin C deficiency to show the symptoms of scurvy in adults. There are characteristic changes in the skin and gums and complications such as intra-cranial haemorrhage or death are exceedingly rare. In contrast, with SBS clusters of bruises occur where the infant was struck. None of this includes broken bones, although changes in the bones can occur. It's beyond reasonable belief that both twins, who were still under ongoing medical care, could have those things happen to them and yet show no signs of a clinical case of scurvy. Even more so when the babies were apparently on formula, as it was reported that they stopped to get some on the way to the hospital. That does contain Vitamin C.

Along with other activities as a GP and his work with the police, Dr Wojcik is stated to have specialised in "Environmental toxicity especially heavy metals - solvents - particular expertise in amalgam mercury toxicity" and seems to think Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other symptoms are mercury toxicity. He was quoted in this article as saying "A Whangarei doctor says his studies of hundreds of patients show that mercury amalgam fillings in people's teeth could be responsible for a lot of unexplained illnesses." Not sure where the leap is to "rethinking" this case come from but it would be better if the specialisation was critical thinking rather than mercury toxicity.

This is just excusing child abuse. Actually, even if it was the case, it would still be abuse - failing to give the necessaries for life.

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This is just excusing child

This is just excusing child abuse. Actually, even if it was the case, it would still be abuse - failing to give the necessaries for life.

Yeah I was gonna say, even if it is a severe VitC deficiency surely it would still be criminal negligance or something? It's not like VitC is an obscure thing to have to find.

It's so true, vitamin

It's so true, vitamin deficiencies let alone malnutrition are pretty obvious in their presentation. It wouldn't be missed, the changes caused by the deficiency are distinctive and they can be seen even today in a developed nation like New Zealand because of conditions like alcoholism.