Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Playing sick? : untangling the web of Munchausen syndrome, Munchausen by proxy, malingering & factitious disorder / Marc D. Feldman 288 p.
This is a fascinating topic, even if the case histories sometimes beggar belief. For example, it has apparently been documented that Munchausen patients have injected their joints with substances such as milk and feces in order to initiate an infection which will land them in the hospital. Feldman's presentation is clear but dry. I was especially fascinated by his distinction between Munchausen's syndrome, in which the damage is self-inflicted, and Munchausen by proxy, in which one deliberately sickens another person, usually a small child. For Feldman, Munchausen's is an illness, while Munchausen's by proxy is criminal behavior.