Thanks for joining us here as we discuss the extremely difficult topic of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. In our previous post we looked at some basic facts about sufferers of MSBP and also some key pieces of information about what the illness is and how it’s categorized. Moving on, we’re going to look at how this illness sometimes gets used as a tool by CPS to threaten and control parents.
In Michigan, there have been cases where Child Protective Services has accused parents of Munchausen by Proxy syndrome, simply because they have sought a different medical opinion after not agreeing with the first one. This commonly referred to as ‘pediatric condition falsification.’
In some cases, parents are certain that a diagnosis given to them for their child is incorrect. This is either because the doctor couldn’t be bothered to listen to all of their concerns, or because the doctor’s expertise has been questioned and they react by practising ‘defensive medicine.’ Defensive medicine refers to the practice of recommending a diagnostic test or medical treatment that is not necessarily the best option for the patient, but mainly serves to protect the physician against possible lawsuits.
Often, the hospital’s risk management attorneys are consulted for guidance in these cases. Every medical malpractice defense attorney knows that the best way to avoid a medical malpractice lawsuit is to change the focus away from the child and the doctors, and to place it on the parents. Which is where allegations of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy come in.
Munchausen by Proxy allegations are sometimes used as a tool to threaten non-compliant parents in medical cases.
Parents who disagree with doctors and incite the wrath of the medical establishment by questioning a diagnosis, are often labelled as troublemakers. In order to ensure that the doctor or hospital in question is not made to look bad, CPS is called in and the parents are reported. This can lead to allegations of medical neglect, and even Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.
When Munchausen by Proxy does happen, it is a tragedy that can cost a child their life. However, because this condition has been sensationalized in the media, it has also become an easy ‘go to’ accusation for CPS when a parent isn’t complying with their wishes in certain situations. This means that parents who are genuinely concerned for children’s medical care and wellbeing, are painted as manipulative monsters in court.
Join us next time, as we discuss the role that mandatory reporting plays in this situation, and how CPS investigates claims of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. Until then, if you or a loved one have been accused of medical neglect, child abuse, or any other form of harm to a child, contact The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245. Our experienced abuse and neglect defense attorneys have spent decades protecting parents against false medical claims by CPS and lies made by defensive doctors. We can help you too.