Munchausen Syndrome

British physician, Dr. Richard Asher, coined the term “Munchausen Syndrome” in 1951. It was named after an 18th century German officer, Baron von Munchausen, who was known for exaggerating stories. 

Munchausen Syndrome occurs when a patient exaggerates, creates, or inflicts injury on themselves to validate an illness or disease. Most of the time, the symptoms do not actually exist, or the patient caused themselves to experience the symptoms. Munchausen Syndrome normally occurs because a person is looking for attention or sympathy. They seek medical attention, rather than medical treatment.

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

Hurt teddy bear in bed with band aid on his head

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP) is another form of this psychological disorder, and it tends to get a lot of media attention. MSbP was noted in 1977 by a British pediatrician named Dr. Roy Meadow. This psychological disorder occurs when a caregiver pretends another person has symptoms of an illness, or inflicts the symptoms of an illness upon another person (thus, “by proxy”). Most of the time, the caregiver is a parent, normally the mother, and the other person is the child.

It is believed that the caregiver is able to satisfy his / her needs for attention by feigning the illness of their child. This is because the caregiver receives sympathy and attention when others see the hardship their child is going through. Some experts believe that, on top of receiving attention, the caregivers gain the added satisfaction of fooling trained and powerful professionals, such as doctors.

Symptoms of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

Someone with MSBP will purposely try to deceive others, normally medical professionals. This person will also go to lengths to make sure that their child has symptoms of the disease or illness. In some extreme cases, a caregiver might do this by poisoning, medicating, injuring or even suffocating the child. Perpetrators of Munchausen’s research various illnesses, their symptoms, and their prognosis to be well-prepared to converse with medical professionals and other caregivers.

A close up of a doctor removing their glove

Sometimes, MSBP can be hard to diagnose. Medical professionals have to closely monitor the progress and welfare of the child, as well as the attitude of the caregiver. If the caregiver seems very eager for medical tests or overly interested in the medical details of their child’s case, this caregiver could be suffering from MSBP.

Child Abuse and Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy is actually a rare disorder, but accusations of it have been popping up in Michigan more frequently. Sometimes, when a child has a difficult-to-diagnose illness or another condition that’s difficult to treat, doctors blame it on MSbP. Children’s Protective Services (CPS) cases are more commonly pointing to MSbP because it is a disorder that can be easily accused, but hard to disprove. This wrongfully puts the burden of proof on the caregiver, not the doctors. 

This is a tragedy. Loving parents are taking their sick children to the doctor, in hopes of a cure, but instead are being blamed for hurting their children because the doctors cannot diagnose the children. Unwarranted child abuse and neglect charges are being pushed onto these caring parents who want nothing but the best for their children.

What’s more, there are thousands of rare, hard-to-diagnose diseases. Sometimes the MSbP allegations are made by doctors because of their own incompetence in the field of diagnostic medicine. After all, scientists and physicians are consistently adding to the list of 6,800+ rare diseases worldwide. Because of this, doctors are not always able to properly diagnose their patients. This is not the parents’ fault.

Parents holding child talking to a doctor

Parents are taking their children to the doctor every day to help them with extremely rare diseases that are hard to even pronounce: 

  • Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congentia
  • Mitochondrial Myopathy
  • Pediatric Diffuse Cutaneous Mastocytosis 

Because there are so many rare conditions out there, no doctor could possibly be an expert on all of them. This is why it is heartbreaking when loving parents are falsely accused of abuse. It’s often because the doctor cannot properly diagnose the child.

Experienced Child Abuse Defense Attorneys in Michigan

We fight false allegations by CPS!

It is devastating to a parent to be accused of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. MSbP carries with it the possibility of criminal charges, loss of parental rights in a CPS case, and loss of custody over your child(ren). With consequences as life-altering and terrifying as these, you need top notch, highly experienced defense attorneys fighting for you.

Our CPS defense lawyers at The Kronzek Firm have been defending parents against false abuse accusations for decades. We have developed an extensive network of expert physicians with the knowledge and expertise to find misdiagnosed cases. We’ve been doing this work successfully for more than 25 years. 

A couple lying on a bed with their baby

We believe in the importance of a united and healthy family. We fight to keep families together and we believe that you have the right to protect your child in the best way you can. You should not have to deal with doctors or state agencies that lack knowledge, have an inability to accurately diagnose, and interfere with your parental rights.

The Kronzek Firm attorneys have rightfully earned our positive reputation around Michigan as successful child abuse defense attorneys. We have the skill and expertise to help many people fight and win against false accusations made by CPS. Over the decades, our attorneys have been hired to represent other attorneys, CPS workers, and police officers in addition to regular Michiganders like the rest of us. 

CPS can overwhelm and destroy your entire family forever. The Kronzek Firm attorneys can help and protect you. Call today and meet with one of our trusted CPS defense attorneys for a free consultation and confidential discussion of your case. Your future and your child’s future are at stake. Let’s fight to keep your family together. Call us at 1 (866) 766 5245.