Munchausen by Proxy Law and Legal Definition

Munchausen by proxy is a syndrome involving an individual, often a mother, who intentionally makes another person, typically their child, sick or convinces others that the person is sick. The parent or caregiver convinces others that the child has medical problems by lying and reporting fictitious episodes. It may involve physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, or a combination. Symptoms reported may be fabricated, exaggerated, or induced by the perpetrator. While not fully understood, many believe that the perpetrators of this deceit were victims of child abuse themselves or are seeking attention. All states require health care providers who suspect Munchausen by Proxy to report their concerns. It is also called Fictitious Disorder by Proxy syndrome and Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.