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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 1995 Sep;29(3):504-7.

Munchausen syndrome by proxy abuse: a foundation for adult Munchausen syndrome.

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  • 1University Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, St James's Hospital, Leeds, United Kingdom.


Symptoms fabricated by the mother, and abnormal maternal pressurising of medical staff, resulted in misinterpretation of sweat test results and a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis in a two year old child. Her mother refused to accept later medical evidence which irrefutably showed this diagnosis to be wrong. The child was extensively investigated and for most of her childhood was treated for pancreatic malabsorption. She progressed from an innocent child victim of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy abuse to an accomplice in her mother's deception, and finally to adult Munchausen Syndrome behaviour. Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy abuse may programme a child into developing adult Munchausen Syndrome.

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