Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

download word file, 9 pages 3.0

Downloaded 20 times

The Trouble Today: Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy         Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MBP), as stated by Levin and Sheridan (1995), is “the deliberate creation of actual or apparent illness or the false reporting of illness in a child or other dependent done because the caretaker apparently wishes the attention that comes from the association with that illness” (p. 1)         Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy is a form of child abuse. Another name for this disorder is factitious illness by proxy (DSM IV.) It is one of the most unrecognized forms of child abuse ever. The typical perpetrator of this abuse fits into a pattern that rarely changes. The perpetrator is usually the mother or female caretaker of the child, or elder person. The mother usually has previous medical experience or knowledge, sometimes they are, or have previously been, a nurse, emergency technician or medical secretary. The husband is usually absent from the trips to the doctor.

If he is there, he is typically not very involved with the child, or victim. The perpetrator is usually very deeply involved in the care of the patient: with treatment such as the taking of the temperature and the administering of medicines. She tries to exclude the medical staff from the treatment in many ways as she can. The perpetrator may claim unusual educational accomplishments, and usually deny involvement in any deception. The perpetrator usually has a history of unhappy marriage and may have had suicidal attempts in her past. She usually appears unnecessarily interested in what the medical staff is feeling and thinking, even more interested in the staff’s feelings than of the patients’. The perpetrator is very cunning, and very manipulative. The mother usually appears to be very involved in the child’s life and in appearing as such, she tends to be put “above suspicion”.