1st Edition

Child Homicide
Parents Who Kill

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ISBN 9780849393662
Published August 15, 2006 by Routledge
297 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

USD $140.00

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Book Description

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


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Author - Lita  Schwartz

Lita Schwartz

Psychologist and Writer,
, Pennsylvania,

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