Skip to Content

What Killed Leah Miller

Abuse or Natural Causes?


Author(s)

Sheri L. Boyce
Department of Biological Sciences
Messiah College
sboyce@messiah.edu

Abstract

An Amish infant suddenly dies and law enforcement officials suspect the parents of child abuse. But experts who advocate for the parents argue that an underlying genetic disorder common among the Amish may have resulted in the baby’s death. Students assume the role of a police detective and answer questions regarding blood clotting and shaken baby syndrome. They then piece together their information and decide if the evidence is in favor of the parents or the police. The case was written for a two-semester anatomy and physiology course, but is also appropriate for undergraduate physiology and human biology courses.


Objectives

  • Describe the typical symptoms of shaken baby syndrome (abusive head trauma).
  • Associate the signs and symptoms of shaking with anatomy and physiology of the brain.
  • Describe the three basic steps of hemostasis.
  • Explain why vitamin K and normal liver function are essential to the clotting process.

Keywords

Shaken baby syndrome; head trauma; brain injury; hemostasis; coagulation; blood clotting; subdural hematoma; vitamin K; liver function; Amish

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division

Format

PDF

Type Methods

Discussion, Role-Play

Language

English

Subject Headings

Physiology  |   Anatomy  |   Biology (General)  |  


Date Posted

03/19/10

Teaching Notes

Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

Answer Key

Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Comments