Münchausen's syndrome by proxy


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Related to Münchausen's syndrome by proxy: Factitious Disorder by Proxy

Münchausen's syndrome by proxy

Etymology: Baron von Münchausen
a variation of Münchausen's syndrome in which the parent persistently fabricates or induces illness in a child with the intent of keeping in contact with hospitals and physicians. The child may endure dozens of surgeries and hospitalizations for illness induced by the parent; nearly 9% of the children die as a result. The mother poses as being a good parent by "saving" the child from medical catastrophe, and the child serves as a manipulative object.

Munchausen's syndrome by proxy

Illness or injury in a child caused by a parent or other person in charge who purports the disorders to be spontaneous. The child is commonly brought, often repeatedly, for medical attention and, if suspicion is raised, any responsibility for the child's medical condition is strenuously denied. Separation from the parent or person in loco parentis leads to recovery of the child's disorder. The commonest caused conditions are seizures, rashes, apparent respiratory failure, rashes, bleeding, diarrhoea and vomiting and near-coma. All of these are brought about by such means as partial suffocation, pressure on the neck, the administration of drugs, poisoning, the application of blood or the use of anticoagulants such as warfarin rat poison. Covert closed-circuit TV monitoring has been used to detect the crime.
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