Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitVictorian Institute of Forensic Medicine
OfferedSouthbank Second semester 2015 (Online)
Coordinator(s)Dr Jennifer 'Anne' Smith

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted. Selection is on a first-in, first enrolled basis. For further information please contact the Postgraduate Course Administrator via email postgrad.courses@vifm.org or phone 03 9684 4115.


Advanced issues in non-accidental injury of children aims to provide an opportunity for students to study the epidemiology and frameworks for evaluation of children when serious and/or complex non-accidental injury is suspected. This unit will enable students to study the theories around injury causation with a focus on complex head injury and other life threatening injuries in children. Clinical findings, patho-physiology and investigation results will be studied. Students will explore controversies surrounding the evaluation of complex injury including shaking injury.

Major Content:

  • Abusive head trauma in infants (impact, acceleration-deceleration and shaking injury, asphyxia, hypoxic-ischaemic brain injury, intracranial bleeding, skull fracture)
  • Eye injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Poisoning / Toxicology
  • Fatal child abuse (homicide and fatal neglect)
  • Fabricated or Induced Illness by Carers (FIIC)


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of inflicted neural and ocular trauma in childhood.
  2. Identify the key procedures and issues of child death investigations.
  3. Discuss factitious illnesses in childhood with particular reference to the medico-legal issues.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of toxicology as it applies to a paediatric population.
  5. Identify and discuss theories of causation, current controversies and areas of uncertainty in the field of non-accidental injury of childhood.


Case study: Critical analysis of forensic principles and procedures using case based discussion (25%)
Case study: Reflection on decision-making in clinical practice (30%)
Essay (3,000 words) (35%)
Oral presentation (15 minute) (10%)
Group discussion (Hurdle)

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Richard Bassed and Dr Jennifer 'Anne' Smith

Off-campus attendance requirements

Compulsory 2 day workshop.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: