Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSbP) is associated with a high incidence of recidivism, morbidity, and mortality.
MSbP perpetrators are motivated to interact with health care providers to satisfy their own insatiable need for positive attention; abusers are willing to hurt their child in order to meet this emotional need.
MSbP is child abuse.Health care providers are legally and morally obligated to report suspected abuse.
Eighteenth century German aristocrat Karl Friedrich Hieronymus Freiherr von Münchhausen was renowned for telling wildly exaggerated tales of travel and adventure.1 In 1786, Rudolf Raspe published versions of the baron’s imaginative tales in his book, The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen. The medical profession has since borrowed the name of this famous raconteur to describe a group of individuals whose complaints are fabricated, but nonetheless so convincing that patients are subjected to needless hospitalizations, diagnostic tests, and even...