Media and clinical case reports of medical child abuse (MCA; also known as caregiver-fabricated illness1) depict dramatic examples of severe child maltreatment. Absent from these reports are accounts of how these cases develop. Recent commentaries have noted the challenges of caring for children with chronic somatic symptoms and the insidious processes through which children’s lives become overmedicalized by well-meaning pediatricians.2,3 In this Viewpoint, we aim to reinforce these important points by explaining how overmedicalization can escalate into MCA.
Hamilton JC, Leventhal JM, Asnes AG. Origins and Early Management of Medical Child Abuse in Routine Pediatric Care. JAMA Pediatr. 2021;175(8):771–772. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.0919
Artificial Intelligence Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.