Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy: The Medical Profession’s Get Out of Jail Free Card?
TLB Staff Writer: Christina England
In Memory of Ella Dis – Born 2nd January 2006 – Died 5th June 2014
Over the years I have highlighted a growing number of cases in which the parents of children injured by a vaccine have subsequently been falsely accused of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP.)
One of the most poignant of cases for me was the case of Ella Dis. 
Ella began life as a normal, cheeky, healthy little girl, who enjoyed toddling around and playing with her toys. Sadly all this was to change dramatically soon after she received her eight week routine vaccinations.
Within hours of the vaccinations Ella became weak and feverish, refusing feeds. Worried, her mother Ragna Erlendsdóttir took her daughter to the local hospital where doctors assured her that she had picked up a virus and would be fine.
Not connecting the illness to the vaccinations, and blissfully unaware that this was only the beginning of her daughter’s problems, Ragna took her baby home.
As the months went by, after each vaccination Ella became ill. Convinced that by giving her baby the routine vaccinations she was doing the best that she could do for her child, and on the advice given to her by her doctor, she continued to allow her daughter to receive the vaccinations.
“It never occurred to me that her problems could be linked to the vaccinations. I had no one around to tell me about the possible side-effects of vaccines.”
Sadly, Ella’s real problems only became apparent after she received the MMR vaccination at 13 months. Up until this age she had been developing normally, she was beginning to walk and talk, was alert and was reaching all her developmental milestones. After the MMR vaccine however, Ella became very sick indeed after an extremely bad reaction.
Connecting the Dots Between Vaccine Injuries and Deteriorating Health
By this time Ragna was beginning to connect the dots and was waking up to the realization that it was the vaccinations that were causing her daughter’s problems. Sadly, it was too late for little Ella, as the damage was done.
Over the months Ella began to deteriorate with each day. By 2008 at the tender age of two, she was unable to breathe on her own, and was taken to the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit).
“Shortly after that, the neurologist told me that he thought that Ella had a disease, but he had no proof for the diagnosis, so nothing further was done. I was devastated, fearing that my baby was going to die. I fell into the darkness of hopelessness and sorrow, so that I spent weeks as if in a daze. I don’t know what happened, but after two months something in my heart told me that Ella was not to die. Not like this, and not without knowing what was making her so sick. I felt I must carry on, and that I was to get a second opinion. We took her to the best specialists in the UK. They did many tests, but still no answers!!”
Beginning to realize that the vaccinations were the problem, Ragna’s instincts told her to not allow Ella to have any further vaccinations.
However, as we all know, doctors can be extremely persuasive. When you are alone and frightened, and needing to trust doctors with your child’s life, it is easy to believe what they are telling you. Sadly, against Ragna’s better judgement, Ella was given the flu vaccine. She immediately became much worse.
Physicians Diagnose Ella’s Condition as Vaccine Induced Disease
Ragna relayed what happened next:
“Next day her eyes started to move rapidly from side to side, like nystagmus. Her body lost blood without any reason, and she needed a blood transfusion of 500ml. She got very sick, and my poor baby almost died. BUT then it was like an invisible voice and guidance that led me to the possibility that this illness of hers was very likely from the jabs, so I started to think back and everything became clear to me. Namely, that her symptoms were the serious side-effects of vaccinations!”
In a desperate bid to discover the truth, Ragna traveled far and wide to find answers for her daughter. Each time the doctors explained to Ragna that Ella’s condition had been caused through VID or Vaccine Induced Disease.
She managed to get reports from four leading experts from around the world stating that Ella had been damaged by vaccinations.
Here are some excerpts from those reports:
Report 1 was written by Sverrir Bergman MD, DM Consultant Neurologist – March 2010
My diagnosis of Ella ———— d.o.b. ——-.2006 condition is on clinical grounds but supported by some investigation as being that of motor sensory polyneuropathy and involving the brain stem nerves as well as the pheripheral ones. This has been accepted by others before my involvement in this case and Ella —— was subsequently given treatment with immunoglobulins and steroids. To me most likely autoimmune response following vaccination. Suggestive diagnosis of some form of spinal muscular atrophy was never confirmed and later rejected.
Report 2 was written by Shimon Slavin, MD, Professor of Medicine, Medical & Scientific Director The International Center for Cell Therapy & Cancer Immunotherapy.
Currently the patient is totally paralyzed with control only over her eyes and eyelids. Today she is on 24hr assistance with BiPAP breathing.
The patient was seen by various experts and her clinical condition does not fit any known classical neurological syndrome. However, careful anamnesis and the development of her symptoms following vaccination suggest a high probability that her current condition may be the consequence of vaccination induced damage syndrome (VIDS).
In view of a lack of any better suggestion for diagnosis it appears to me that the option of VIDS is very likely the cause of her unusual condition.
Report 3 was written by Sverrir Bergman MD, DM Consultant Neurologist – December 2011
I enclose a copy of my report on Ella ——-. She is severely affected by what is most likely the result of motorsensory neuropathy following immunization. There is much weakness of the limbs and the body, but her brain stem nerves are also affected, and she requires direct gastric feeding and breathing assistance which is not sufficient for her now, and she requires tracheotomy as there is much swelling in her laryngeal region.
Report 4 was written by Harold Buttram MD
Ella ——- I have been gratified to find that hospital and consulting physicians unanimously agreed that Ella —————-’ autoimmune illness was the result of routine childhood vaccines, with the MMR vaccine being the final agent of incapacitation.
Medical Kidnap: Ella is Removed from Mother’s Custody via Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy Diagnosis
Despite all this evidence, and with Ella so desperately ill and disabled, the authorities decided that Ella was not vaccine damaged at all. In their report, they said that she was suffering from ‘spinal muscular atrophy,’ a condition that had already been disregarded in the first expert’s report.
In a desperate bid to quieten Ella’s mother, the authorities used their trump card and accused Ragna of MSBP. They stated that she had endangered Ella’s life by travelling to different experts around the world for assessments, answers and treatments not available in the UK.
Despite the evidence backing up their claims, Ella was removed from her mother’s care and put into an institution for the disabled.
Ella Finally Returns Home to Die
After many months of fighting the authorities and several court cases, Ella was returned to her mother.
Sadly, their joy of being reunited was short lived. Not long after Ella retuned home to be with her loving family, she died suddenly.
Ella was a beautiful little girl whom I was so very fortunate to meet. She lit up the whole room with her beautiful smile and will be sadly missed by all those who knew her.
What is Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy?
MSBP is a diagnosis given to a parent or caregiver to describe certain aspects of their behaviour. This behaviour usually includes subjecting what appears to be a previously healthy child to unnecessary painful tests or medical interventions, such as scans, x-rays and surgical procedures, to gain the attention of the medical profession.
Many theories exist as to why women/men would fabricate fictitious illness in their children. The most common theory is that the perpetrators have a personality disorder. Louisa J. Lasher and Mary S. Sheridan wrote in Munchausen by Proxy – Identification, Intervention and Case Management, on page 293, point 3:
““MBP perpetrators may seek attention from a variety of people.” As already indicated, this need for attention in one form or another is characteristic of several personality disorders. Those with borderline or dependent personality disorder have a strong need for relationships. The core of histrionic personality disorder is the need for attention from others. People with paranoid personality disorder may seek attention to confirm beliefs or even make ‘converts.’ People with antisocial personality disorder may seek attention as part of a ‘con.’” (2)
No Consistent Agreement on MSBP Diagnosis Among Authorities
In fact, there is little professional agreement on what constitutes a MSBP diagnosis and many professionals describe MSBP as different things. There have been debates all over the world on the subject. Some say that it is a mental illness, while others say that it doesn’t even exist.
Dr. Marc Feldman, thought to be a leading expert on the subject, believes that MSBP does exist. He describes what he believes to be the behavior of a person suffering from the condition on his website:
“…….They deliberately mislead others into thinking they (or their children) have serious medical or psychological problems, often resulting in extraordinary numbers of medication trials, diagnostic tests, hospitalizations, and even surgery … that they know are not really needed. In short, factitious disorder, Munchausen syndrome, malingering, and Munchausen by proxy involve illness deception, or ‘disease forgery.’” (3)
In another article by Feldman, Parenthood Betrayed, the Dilemma of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, Feldman explains that MSBP mothers need to feel special and that virtually all have personality disorders. (4)
A Growing Number of Professionals Disagree with Dr. Feldman – State that MSBP Lacks Scientific Validity
Earl Howe, the former opposition spokesperson for children and health in the House of Lords, disagrees with this opinion fiercely.
In 2004, Lord Howe was reported to have said that he feels there is a sinister development occurring in the UK, with MSBP being confined to the “dustbin” and doctors replacing it with the term “personality disorder”, adding:
“This has the same result as MSBP; it is a catch-all term to accuse mothers.” (5)
Michael Nott agrees. Originally a journalist writing a series of papers and articles on MSBP in the early 2000’s, he has recently qualified as a lawyer and is fast becoming one of the leading professionals helping parents who have been falsely accused.
In one of his early papers, he wrote:
“A Munchausen syndrome by proxy diagnosis lacks scientific validity. It is not a definitive category in the authoritative DSM IV (1994), only appearing in the appendix.
Parents and professionals should be aware that there are many similar labels to MSBP, which include the following: somatisation disorder, abnormal illness behaviour, folie a deux, pervasive refusal syndrome, hysteria, and factitious illness. Often the MSBP label will be combined with other labels. For example, a mother may be accused of both MSBP and shaken baby syndrome.
It is a recent and extremely controversial diagnosis (Allison and Roberts, 1998). Despite its highly controversial nature, MSBP is being used extensively in the medical profession, by social services, and in court.” 
Charles Pragnell, an independent social care management consultant, Child/Family Advocate, and an Expert Defense Witness – Child Protection, is another professional who agrees. In his paper A Misconceived and Misguided Medical and Social Construction he wrote:
“Denial of fault where error or negligence has led to harm to another person and which has been caused by an individual or an organization, is encouraged by insurance companies. They instruct motorists never to admit fault after a motoring `accident’ and have even instructed local government departments not to admit fault where individuals have suffered harm as a consequence of the actions of their employees. The Glaswegian defence of the `WazNaaMe Syndrome’ is very common.
In this context, FII/MSBP has become a very clever device for medical and other professionals to avert blame for their incompetence or negligence as it immediately throws blame onto the parent (usually the mother), and identifies the parent immediately as being capable of gross deceit and misrepresentation.
A defense by a parent against such an accusation by a powerful and respected professional is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to disprove. The parent is labelled, stigmatised, and completely disempowered in a moment. In most cases the professional is not required to even prove their accusation. It is sufficient that they merely mention their accusation at a meeting with other professionals who are reluctant to challenge such an assertion and readily accept its authenticity and to thereafter apply it in their contacts and practices with the parent.” 
However, despite the growing controversy, medical professionals worldwide continue to support the MSBP diagnosis, with many believing that parents and caregivers who suffer from the syndrome can be identified using a profile.
How a Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy Profile is Used to Trap Parents in a “No-win” Situation
Dr. Helen Hayward-Brown has been very worried about the use of profiling parents for MSBP for many years, and was reported to have said that:
“The MSBP profile used by doctors contains paradoxes that make it very difficult, almost impossible, for mothers to prove their innocence. For example, being an over-protective parent is part of the MSBP profile, but so is being a negligent parent.” (8)
She has a point and has explained on many occasions how parents can be trapped into a no-win situation. She frequently uses the example of how being an over-protective parent can be used against parents but adds, that so, too, can being a negligent parent.
Earl Howe, former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and government spokesperson with the Department of Health has also expressed his concerns surrounding the MSBP profile. In October 2001, he outlined his concerns during a Parliamentary discussion at the House of Lords:
“The danger of such a broad spectrum of behaviour being packaged into a single portmanteau term, MSBP, is that in the hands of those who are not sufficiently trained or experienced to know better, it is a label that is all too easily applied without due care.
This is all the more true when one considers the so-called profile of characteristics that are said to mark out a person suffering from MSBP. These characteristics include such things as privation during childhood, repeated bereavement, miscarriage, divorce and past health problems.
An over-intense relationship with the child and a desire to be the perfect parent are other supposed markers. Regardless of the fact that there are very many perfectly innocent, sane people around who might have such characteristics, the very idea of a tell-tale profile of this kind is an open invitation to apply the MSBP label without properly looking at what may or may not be happening to the child. 
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy a Cover for Vaccine Injury
The first ever professional to link Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy, autism and vaccinations together was psychologist, author and specialist in autism Lisa Blakemore-Brown. She first began speaking out about her fears and concerns regarding MSBP in 1995. She stated:
“In my first false case the twins I assessed had been born at just over 26 weeks in the mid eighties. They were tiny babies with horrendous complications. The evidence that such premature infants go on to have developmental problems including attention deficits, motor and social impairments is now indisputable, but it was tossed to one side in this MSBP case. One of the early troubling issues for me was that the MSBP accusers initially totally denied that these children had such birth complications! They said this was ‘what the mother said’ and that I had been ‘beguiled’ by ‘listening to the mother.’” 
In 1997, Ms. Blakemore-Brown was featured in a 20/20 documentary on the case, aired in New Zealand. It is very clear in part 2 of the film that the twins had severe problems.
In the same year Ms. Blakemore-Brown wrote a paper in the journal The Therapist, titled False Illness in Children – Or Simply False Accusations? 
Her paper describes a tragic case which she had been involved with concerning a child who had developed a dangerously high fever immediately after routine vaccinations. Shortly after, the child began to bang his head, soil himself, and lose all his language ability. After many investigations, the child was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.
The mother began to suspect that the vaccinations were the root of the child’s problems and decided not to have her other children vaccinated. As time went on, she became desperate for help. She turned to the social services and begged them for respite care because she was finding her elder son difficult to manage. Instead of the help which this mother so badly needed, she was accused of MSBP and her children were taken away from her.
In foster care, the youngest child, a little girl, was vaccinated against the will of her mother. Instantaneously, and tragically, her behaviour deteriorated in the same way as her brother’s, only this time the foster mother had videotapes of before and after vaccinations, to prove the timing of the changes. Despite this evidence, both the younger children were placed into a new family.
Despite her courageous efforts and the controversy surrounding the MSBP diagnosis, parents are still being falsely diagnosed today.
Conclusion: False accusations of child abuse destroy lives
These tragedies will keep on occurring until the medical profession accepts that vaccinations can and do cause disabilities, illness and death. Doctors in particular need to STOP, THINK and CHECK before blaming parents. Not all parents wish to harm their children.
When children are taken to the doctors with difficult to diagnose illnesses and disabilities, doctors should always ask their parents about their vaccination status and find out when the child received their last vaccination. This action could save the child’s life.
False accusations of child abuse destroy lives and can rip a loving family apart.
Think before you act!!
Written in loving memory of Ella Dis
1. (2012) England. Christina Child Paralyzed by Vaccinations and Stolen from Mother by State http://vactruth.com/2012/04/13/paralyzed-by-vaccinations/
2. 1. Louisa J Lasher and Mary S Sheridan. Munchausen by Proxy – Identification, Intervention and Case Management page 293 point 3 (Link)
3. Feldman Marc – Munchausen Syndrome, Malingering, Factitious Disorder, & Munchausen by Proxy Page http://www.munchausen.com/
4. Feldman – Parenthood Betrayed, The Dilemma of Munchausen by Proxy http://distress-and-uncertainty.blogspot.co.uk/2005/10/parenthood-betrayed-dilemma-of.html
5. Nott Michael – Justice out of Balance http://www.pnc.com.au/~heleneli/media/nexusMSBPoct2004.pdf
6. (2004) Nott. Michael What is Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy? http://www.academia.edu/226054/munchausen_syndrome_by_proxy
7. (2006) Pragnell. Charles A MISCONCEIVED AND MISGUIDED MEDICAL AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION
8. Nott Michael – Justice out of Balance http://www.pnc.com.au/~heleneli/media/nexusMSBPoct2004.pdf
9. (2001) Howe. Fredrick. Lord Hansard Parliamentry Business Child Abuse http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200102/ldhansrd/vo011017/text/11017-06.htm
10. Durham Speech Profitable Harm – Autism odyssey. Retrieved from http://www.profitableharm.com/an_autism_odyssey_text.html
11. (1998). False illness in children – or simply false accusations? The Therapist, 5(2). Re-trieved from http://www.profitableharm.com/the_therapist.html Original obtainable from here http://www.humangivens.com/publications/volume-5-no-2-1998.html
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