Munchausen syndrome by proxy: A form of child abuse (pp. 259-263)
Authors: Eunice Grace and Nithya Jagannathan
Abstract: Munchausen syndrome by proxy was first described by a pediatric professor, Sir Samuel Roy Meadow, in the year 1977. The typical form involves inducing illness in the child by a parent or other caregiver, and fooling the clinician with fabricated stories. It involves the parents exaggerating symptoms of illness of their child, thereby resulting in overly aggressive medical evaluations and interventions. Usually in such cases the mother is more frequently involved than the father. A common scenario is that sometimes even the physician plays a role in inflicting abuse in the child. It is imperative that the physician recognizes this because failure in diagnosing leads to repeated abuse of the child, sometimes even resulting in death. Hence diagnosing Munchausen syndrome by proxy with increased self-awareness reduces the morbidity and mortality rates amongst the children. The article reviews Munchausen syndrome by proxy , particularly as it relates to the diagnosis and its management to bring about an increase in the awareness of this syndrome. This article aims at bringing about that awareness thereby helping in its management and being beneficial to the child.