"Munchausen by proxy syndrome": not just pathological parenting but also problematic doctoring? Another view.

Kieran T Moran
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2003.tb05105.x
Published online: 3 February 2003

Much has been written about the motivation of perpetrators in Munchausen by proxy syndrome (MBPS), but little, as far as I know, about the motivation of doctors who "collude" with parents in these behaviours. In general, I have no quibble with the analysis by Jureidini and colleagues.1 It is interesting, as they have done, to put forward a theory as to why doctors who are motivated to make "the diagnosis" might fail to recognise invented illness; however, the motivation of the "relentless investigator" is not the only one that should be examined.

  • Child Protection Unit, Sydney Children's Hospital, Sydney, NSW.


Competing interests:

None identified.

  • 1. Jureidini JN, Shafer AT, Donald TG. "Munchausen by proxy syndrome": not only pathological parenting but also problematic doctoring? Med J Aust 2003; 178: 130-132.<eMJA full text>
  • 2. Loader P, Kelly C. Munchausen syndrome by proxy; a narrative approach to explanation. Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry 1996; 75: 57-61.
  • 3. Nicol AR, Eccles M. Psychotherapy for Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Arch Dis Child 1985; 60: 344-348.
  • 4. Eminson M, Postlethwaite RJ, editors. Munchausen syndrome by proxy abuse: a practical approach. Oxford: Butterworth Heineman; 2000.


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