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Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a form of child abuse instigated by the primary care giver. The abuser creates deliberate illness and/or injury to a child that may result in severe permanent damage or death. The caregiver's motive in harming the child is to gain attention for the care and/or rescue of the child from medical workers, family, and friends.

There are several commonalities among individuals that participate in this type of child abuse. The abuser is most likely to be female and is usually the child's mother. However, there have been cases that involved nurses, babysitters, and fathers. The perpetrator is likely to have a medical background and seems to enjoy the medical environment. In addition, the abuser tends to have low self-esteem and in ...

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