Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

Munchausen syndrome by proxy as discussed in Chapter 8 of your text (p. 251) is an identified factitious disorder in which a caregiver purposefully and intentionally causes illness in another individual—in some cases, their own children—to garner attention and sympathy as well as to be viewed as a hero or a victim. The victims of individuals with Munchausen syndrome by proxy can even die. Multiple and frequent hospitalizations, unusual constellations of symptoms, and bouts of unpredictable remission, among other things, are indications of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. The most common symptoms noted are bleeding, seizures, asthma, coma, diarrhea, vomiting, poisoning, infections, fevers, and sudden infant death syndrome.

After reading both articles, “Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome: A Deadly Disorder” and the article, “Social media fuels Munchausen by proxy, experts say,” consider the questions below. Then submit your responses.

Question 1


Question 2


Question 3

Answers will vary. One possibility: Individuals with Munchausen syndrome by proxy enjoy the attention garnered from taking care of an ill loved one, and they can receive even more attention if they make announcements about their child’s condition on social media forums.

Question 4

Answers will vary. One possibility: Monitor the child and primary caregiver for any red flags. Red flags include if the child’s symptoms improve or he or she gets better overall in the absence of the primary caregiver, and if the child’s symptoms worsen when in the presence of his or her primary caregiver.

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