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
Gender and Child Homicide
The Literary Legacy
Child Homicide in Literature and Opera
Neonaticide in Theory and in History:
Who Are the Perpetrators?
An Historical Perspective
Motives for Murder
Infanticide and Filicide
Neonaticide and Its Alternatives
Options in Pregnancy
Neonaticide and the Law
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
Shaken Baby Syndrome/Shaking Impact Syndrome
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP)
Postpartum Depression Disorders
Differentiating the Disorders
What Can Be Done
Infanticide and Filicide by Parents and
What Kind of Parent…?
If These Are the Causes …
Neonaticide, Infanticide, Filicide, and the Law
The Insanity Defense
Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Psychosis
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
The Abortion Controversy
In the Courts
Euthanasia and Infanticide
Eugenics, Mercy-Killing, and Euthanasia
The Parental Positions
Child Homicide: Preventive Measures
Prevention of Neonaticide
Preventing Infanticide and Filicide
Concluding Thoughts and Recommendations
The Role of Therapeutic Jurisprudence