Meadow’s Law

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Meadow’s Law2016-11-14T22:43:41+00:00

Meadow’s Law

Meadow Roy image from New Medical Terms

Sir Roy Meadow of Meadow’s Law


A dictum based on Professor Sir Roy Meadow’s assertion that one sudden infant death is a tragedy, two is suspicious and three is murder until proved otherwise.

The “law” was widely adopted by UK social workers and child protection agencies–e.g., UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children–NSPCC. Meadow’s Law formed the basis for the wrongful conviction of several mothers, including solicitor Sally Clark in 1999 for murdering her two children. She was freed nearly 4 years later, but never recuperated from the grotesque miscarriage of justice.

Meadow was struck from the GMC (General Medical Council) register for his “cowboy” antics which resulted in a number of mothers being wrongfully convicted of murder, most famously, Sally Clark, a lawyer who spent three years behind bars, based largely on Meadow’s expert opinion which he rendered in high court, that her two babies had died not of sudden infant death syndrome, but rather from infanticide. She was freed in 2003, but losing her babies proved too much for her to handle. She crawled into a bottle and died in 2007 of alcoholism. Meadow was later reinstated by the GMC, the same body that struck Harold Shipman from its register 10 days after his conviction for killing 15 of his patients (in fairness to the GMC, Shipman was later linked to the homicidal deaths of another 200 of his patients). 


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