Meet the doctor whose child abuse expertise has made her a lightning rod

One defense lawyer says Dr. Alice Newton is a “maniac.’’

Dr. Alice Newton is the Medical Director of the MGH Child Protection Consultation Team.
Dr. Alice Newton is the Medical Director of the MGH Child Protection Consultation Team. –Suzanne Kreiter / The Boston Globe

A Boston pediatrician’s medical expertise is being openly criticized after several criminal child abuse cases in which she advised were dismissed, The Boston Globe reports.

Dr. Alice Newton, a child-abuse specialist at Mass. General Hospital, has offered her expertise to legal cases involving child abuse and shaken baby syndrome. Though admired by many child advocates, her involvement in later-dismissed charges has drawn the ire of defense lawyers and parents’ rights groups, the Globe reports.

Foremost among her critics is Melinda Thompson, an attorney for the Irish nanny who was accused of shaking to death a Cambridge baby in her care. Prosecutors dropped the first-degree murder charge against the nanny when another state examiner ruled that the baby had died of “undetermined’’ causes. Thompson said Newton was a “maniac’’ in comments to the Globe.

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“She has become more of a prosecutor than a doctor,’’ Thompson told the Globe. “I think it’s shocking that she’s heading a child abuse team at a major hospital.’’

You can read the rest of the story at The Boston Globe.

Gallery: Mass. General Hospital through the years

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