Child Homicide: Parents Who Kill

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ISBN 9780849393662
Cat# 9366



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ISBN 9781420009347
Cat# E9366



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  • Investigates the role of the father in roughly 75 percent of child homicide cases, a fact virtually ignored by the media
  • Examines all forms of child homicide including Munchausen-by-Proxy, shaken baby syndrome, and SIDS
  • Touches on the controversial topics of abortion and euthanasia
  • Explains the differential post-partum diagnoses such as psychosis and depression and their validity as legal defenses§Includes the role of the media in cases such as Andrea Yates'
  • Summary

    From governments that enact population-limiting legislation or commit wholesale neonaticide, to families who purposely allow a weak, infirm, or unfavorably gendered infant to perish rather than expend limited resources, neonaticide, infanticide, and filicide, are practiced on every continent and by every level of cultural complexity.

    Taking an objective and diagnostic approach, Child Homicide: Parents Who Kill examines the crime of neonaticide from all angles including historical, cultural, psychological, and legal. Expanding on the first edition, published as Endangered Children: Neonaticide, Infanticide, and Filicide, this edition details child homicide in its many forms such as shaken baby syndrome and Munchausen-by-Proxy as well as the differing circumstances involved in infanticide and filicide. Unlike many books on the subject, it investigates the behavior of the father--deemed responsible in roughly 75 percent of these cases--whether aggressive, complicit, or merely absent, and his ultimate culpability under the law.

    The authors study the influence of today's media, and how its lightning-fast dissemination of these shocking and often complicated stories affect public opinion, copycat crime, and legal bias. This book explains legal defenses including insanity, differential post partum diagnosis such as post-partum psychosis, and discusses new policies, more appropriate, therapeutic punishments, and preventive measures.

    Child Homicide: Parents Who Kill places this phenomenon in its historical, cultural, and human context and makes us realize that this is not just someone else's nightmare.

    Table of Contents

    Children: An Endangered Species
    Throughout History
    Gender and Child Homicide
    The Literary Legacy
    Child Homicide in Literature and Opera

    Neonaticide in Theory and in History:
    Who Are the Perpetrators?
    Sociobiological Perspectives
    Cross-Cultural Perspectives
    An Historical Perspective

    Motives for Murder
    Why Murder?
    Infanticide and Filicide

    Neonaticide and Its Alternatives
    Options in Pregnancy
    Why Neonaticide?

    Neonaticide and the Law
    Legal Ramifications
    Variations in Charges and Sentencing
    Should Neonaticide Be Punished? If So, How?
    Anglo-American Laws and Sentencing
    What about the Fathers?

    In Transition: From One Form of Child
    Homicide to Another
    Neonaticide Syndrome
    Shaken Baby Syndrome/Shaking Impact Syndrome
    Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
    Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP)

    Postpartum Depression Disorders
    Differentiating the Disorders
    Case Examples
    What Can Be Done
    Early Diagnosis
    Legal Controversies

    Infanticide and Filicide by Parents and
    Their Surrogates
    What Kind of Parent…?
    Other Motives
    Paternal Homicide
    Child Abuse
    Legal Ramifications
    The Survivors
    If These Are the Causes …

    Neonaticide, Infanticide, Filicide, and the Law
    The Insanity Defense
    Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Psychosis
    Alternative Defenses
    In Defense of the Defendant
    Variations in Penalties
    An Interesting Question
    Are the Laws Anti-female?
    Looking Back and Ahead

    Choice and Reproduction: Political and
    Other Arguments
    The Abortion Controversy
    In the Courts
    Euthanasia and Infanticide
    Eugenics, Mercy-Killing, and Euthanasia
    The Parental Positions

    Child Homicide: Preventive Measures
    Prevention of Neonaticide
    Pregnancy Prevention
    Preventing Infanticide and Filicide

    Concluding Thoughts and Recommendations
    Provide Information
    Therapeutic Rehabilitation
    The Role of Therapeutic Jurisprudence


    Appendix A

    Appendix B


    Author Bio(s)