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July 1996

Munchausen Syndrome by ProxyChild Abuse in the Medical System

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(7):753-758. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170320099017

Munchausen syndrome by proxy often is managed differently from other forms of child maltreatment, although it is differentiated from them only by the active engagement with the medical profession in the production of morbidity. We suggest a more rigorous approach to Munchausen syndrome by proxy, with explicit acknowledgment that it is abuse and that the medical system is critical to its genesis. This leads us to question the broadness with which the label is applied (eg, in cases of imposed upper airway obstruction) and to argue for management strategies closer to those accepted for other forms of child maltreatment.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150:753-758