HC Deb 13 December 1999 vol 341 cc52-3W
Mr. Grogan

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the Government's policy towards treatment for Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy. [102093]

Mr. Hutton

Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP), also known as Factitious Illness by Proxy, is a form of abuse, usually perpetrated against a child. The term refers to a complex range of behaviours in which a person deliberately produces or feigns physical or psychological symptoms in another person who is under the individual's care. Typically the victim is a young child and the perpetrator is the child's mother.

We recognise that suspected cases of MSBP are among the most difficult and demanding areas of activity for paediatricians and other professional groups devoted to child care and protection.

The professionals involved are best placed to decide on the most appropriate means of determining whether MSBP is at issue and, if so, how to act in the best interests of the child and the carer throughout any intervention.

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