Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy is a form of child abuse in which the parent will either fake or create an illness in their child, and then present the child for medical care. Mother’s are generally most likely to perpetrate this. She may appear to be a model mother, and give a detailed history when presenting the child. However, when the medical establishment finds negative results, the parent often becomes angry and belligerent. Not only are they willing to allow their children to undergo invasive diagnostic procedures, they may actually encourage it.

There are three types of parents who perpetrate Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. The first are the active inducers who act to actually cause symptoms of illness in their children, the more dramatic the better. This generally occurs with infants and young children. The second type is the doctor addict, who insists on attempting to gain medical attention for their children, for nonexistent illnesses. They are convinced there is an illness despite continual negative findings. They report false histories and symptom soften. These parents generally perpetrate this on school-age children. The last type is the illness exaggerator. These parents are similar to doctor addicts with the exception being that there is a documented mild illness that they exaggerate as much as possible.