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Munchausen’s Syndrome is considered a form of medical child abuse in terms of physical abuse and medical neglect.  This type of abuse is considered to be pre-meditated.  Medical providers are considered a mandatory reporting entity, but many do not recognize the syndrome or get “sucked into” the sympathy for the caregiver.  “Even when fabricated illness is reported to child protective services, many children are not protected from further harm.  In a 2-year surveillance study in the UK, approximately one-third of the children (46 of 119) were allowed to return home.  Approximately one-quarter of the children still had signs or symptoms of abuse at follow-up.  Only one-third of the children were placed in caregiving arrangements outside the control of the alleged offending parent.”  (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2013)

Estimates suggest that about 1,000 of the 2.5 million cases of child abuse reported annually are related to Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (FDIA) or Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy.  “This disorder can lead to serious short-and long-term complications, including continued abuse, multiple hospitalizations, and the death of the victim. Research suggests that the death rate for victims of FDIA is about 10 percent.”  (Cleveland Clinic, 2014).

For our newsletter and blog this month we are reviewing Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy. The blog topics for this month are:

  • Munchausen’s: Definition (10/2/15)
  • Munchausen’s: The Victim (10/9/15)
  • Munchausen’s: The Offender (10/16/15)
  • Munchausen’s: Criminal Implications  (10/23/15)

Note: To see all posts in this topic, click here

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