David Shier
Washington State University
Celebrated for disproving the traditional view that lack of oxygen at birth (perinatal asphyxia) contributes significantly to cerebral palsy, a 1986 New England Journal of Medicine article by Karin Nelson and Jonas Ellenberg engineered a new consensus in the medical community: that lack of oxygen at birth rarely causes cerebral palsy. We demonstrate that the article's central argument relies on straightforwardly fallacious statistical reasoning, and we discuss significant implications -- e.g. how carefully fetuses are monitored during labor and delivery, expert testimony in malpractice cases, and public policy decisions
Keywords asphyxia neonatorum  asphyxia neonatorum/complications  birth injuries/complications  cerebral palsy  cerebral palsy/etiology  Daubert  Ellenberg  Jonas  expert testimony  fetal anoxia  fetal distress/complications  hypoxia-ischemia  brain/etiology  malpractice  movement disorders/etiology/physiopathology/prevention & control  National Collaborative Perinatal Project  National Institutes of Health (US)  Nelson  Karin  New England Journal of Medicine  obstetrics  perinatology
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Reprint years 2006
DOI 10.1007/s11019-005-3349-2
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