Update--see bottom of post
Update #2: please read the post from a practicing North Carolina pediatrician, Dr. J's House Calls, and a letter from another practicing North Carolina pediatrician, Dr. Mary Walker, on the need for complete medical examinations in working up developmental delays and diagnosing ADHD.
Update #3 -- Please read Dr. J's Housecalls: Mel Levine, Part II: When Mobs Rule. She sent me an email, noting:
This "AyresWatch" crowd is scary. The concept of due process is apparently an alien concept that the rest of us are supposed to disregard.
Mel Levine, author of "All Kinds of Minds" practiced pediatrics at Children's Hospital Boston from 1971 to 1985. On March 31, 2008, attorney Carmen L. Durso filed a lawsuit on behalf of an unnamed plaintiff, alleging that between 1980 and 1985, Levine performed repeated and unnecessary physical examinations on his client, including sexual acts. There are six other plaintiffs in the suit with similar allegations.
In explaining the 23-year delay in filing such a suit:
The plaintiff who filed the lawsuit "was unable to recall and to understand" the abuse until February 2006, the complaint said. It says he has been in therapy since.
After leaving Boston, Levine was a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine until 2006. In the last two years, he held an "unpaid appointment as an adjunct professor at the university, where he continued to see patients twice a month." UNC announced that Levine has volunteered not to see any patients until the suit is resolved.
In a faxed statement, Levine's lawyer, Edward Mahoney of Boston, said the doctor is innocent.
"Dr. Mel Levine has provided pediatric care to more than 15,000 children over 40 years and categorically denies that he has ever been abusive in any way toward any patient," said Mahoney, who questioned the motives of the lawyer filing the suit. "He adamantly denies these claims. Dr. Levine is distressed about the distorted or misinterpreted memories from decades past and questions the motivations."
The plaintiff "was unable to recall and to understand"--sounds like repressed/recovered memory therapy to me.
Update: The U.S. justice system incorporates the principle of "presumption of innocence": - The indictment or formal charge against any person is not evidence of guilt. Indeed, the person is presumed by the law to be innocent. The law does not require a person to prove his innocence or produce any evidence at all. The Government has the burden of proving a person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and if it fails to do so the person is (so far as the law is concerned) not guilty.
However, as Sherry Colb observed, there is "No Command for Non-jurors to Suspend Judgment"
the Constitution does not dictate what we ought to think or say. Indeed, it protects those thoughts and statements, regardless of their content or viewpoint, under the First Amendment. We therefore need not limit ourselves in the ways the jury is limited--in terms of either the evidence we are allowed to consider, the threshold that evidence must meet before we draw a conclusion, or even our own default presumption.
At the present writing (April 8, 2008) all I know is that Dr. Levine has been accused. I don't know the extent or the robustness of the evidence in the prosecution's complaint, or the extent or robustness of the evidence for acquittal. Therefore, I will assume his innocence.
This is in response to the commenter, John, who is basing his arguments on speculation and innuendo.