Thursday, September 30, 2004

Investigating Multiple SIDs Deaths

Question for the day:

If the number of multiple SIDS ("sudden infant death syndrome") deaths within single families within some large population is exactly what one would expect if chance alone governs the distribution of SIDS, should government authorities investigate for possible wrongdoing if the only thing they know is that there were, apparently, three SIDS deaths within a single family?

Further questions:

(i) Are three such deaths within a single family ever sufficient for a criminal conviction of a person who alone had access to the children when they died?

(ii) If not, would four deaths suffice?

(iii) If not, would five or ... n deaths ever suffice?

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