"Munchausen's by proxy" case

One of the news magazines (seems like NBC) a few weeks ago had a story about a woman (some health care advocate) who was on trial for giving drugs to her daughter (over a period of years) to deliberately make her sick.

I have not heard anything more on this. Does anyone know what state this is in?

I haven’t seen this particular case but have heard of many like it. Usually in these situations it’s a mother inflicting the damage on a child, sometimes not even real hurt but insisting there is something wrong so the hospital will do long, painful tests on the child.

It is usually seen as a cry for attention, when a mother is caring for a child with a mysterious ilness that has painful tests and treatments then they get attention as the doting mother…

It’s a very sick disability.

Don’t let the loveless ones sell you a world wrapped in grey.

Yeah, that was here in South Florida. The mother’s trial was about a month ago. I remember her healthy son took the stand in her defense. Basicly saying that since the doctors couldn’t explain his sister’s illness, they blamed it on his mother.
They originally caught on to her when medical staff consistently noticed that the little girl would always be improving until her mother visited and then she would get worse again.
Lemme see if I can dig up anything more specific for you. I don’t even remember the outcome of the trial.

I read a true-crime book about this some years ago, called From Cradle to Grave. The woman in the story had given birth to a couple of children, and one of them died of natural causes. She eventually gave birth to eight children, and adopted one as well. Every single one of those kids died. Turns out she enjoyed the attention she got after the first one died, so she just kept killing the rest of the kids. She went to prison, of course, but she was diagnosed as having Munchausen’s by proxy. I am no mental health expert, but this one is so far beyond me, I can’t even begin to fathom it.

Yeah, that crazy woman did it by smothering her babies with pillows. I remember some television news program wildly and irresponsibly speculating that such behavior might be one explanation for many infant deaths attributed to SIDS.

But then again… Damn. Have I really lost that much faith in the human race?

The mother’s name is Kathy Bush, her daughter’s is Jennifer. They lived in Coral Springs, Florida in Broward County.(where she was subsequently tried for child abuse) I’m still not clear on what the outcome of the trial was, but I’ll do more digging because I’m curious myself.

Incidently, the mother was receiving a lot of attention from the media, even before possible wrong-doing was discovered. I remember a local fundraiser to help pay the little girls medical bills. I also was able to get this little snippet from the Miami Herald…

Related info I was able to find:

-Some related stories http://www.msbp.com/Bushtrial.htm

-A court filing by the defense http://www.msbp.com/Bush-2.htm

-The above links were found on a ‘Mothers Against Munchausen syndrome by proxy Alegations’ or M.A.M.A. (This will serve well to cover both sides of this issue) http://www.msbp.com/

-An MSNBC story on the brother’s testimony http://www.msnbc.com/news/308872.asp?cp1=1

So, from that research I learned that the trial is not yet over and the mother is not only charged with child abuse but also fraud. The fraud stems from the over 3 million dollars of donations and aid the mother received as a result of all this.

This story is so damn depressing, but there is a semi-happy ending. The little girl’s health has been improving ever since she was taken away from the mother. Which also seems like a rather stong, although legally inconclusive piece of evidence.

Opal’s mom specializes in Family Law, including child advocacy cases, and she was on the Leeza show talking about Munchausen by proxy cases.

Not sure if Opal has anything to add, but I’ll mention it to her.

My mom has seen cases like this several times and it is just sick. On that Leeza show they had footage of a woman at a hospital with her infant child, and she would look around, then put a piece of plastic wrap over the kid’s mouth and nose until the kid stopped breathing, then she’d put the plastic away and freak out calling over the doctors… it just makes my stomach shrivel up to hear about it.

“Cluemobile? You’ve got a pickup…”
OpalCat’s site: http://opalcat.com
The Teeming Millions Homepage: fathom.org/teemingmillions

Well, Im deafened.

As the doctors [of which I saw dozens of various types] could not find anything askew with my body [So many tests, so very many], one of theories is such a materal personality may very well account for this for me.

I think that it went on for so many years that eventually deafness became part of me.

Strange, but when asleep I can hear just fine. You know, like my body shakes to the alarm clock noise. shrug.

If you all haven’t seen The Sixth Sense, see it. Not only is it truly a good must-see movie, it relates to the topic at hand.


Yeah, I was thinking about The Sixth Sense when this came up. Opal and I had a discussion about that on the way home from seeing the movie.

Thanks a bunch for all the info.

Handy, I’m afraid I miss your point. Are you saying that somehow your deafness is only psychological? I don’t think that’s it, but I don’t get what you do mean, and there’s that bit about hearing the alarm clock…

Just an update on this, since it’s local news for me…

Kathy Bush was found guilty (of both child abuse and fraud I assume) yesterday and is scheduled for sentencing.

handy, I’m curious about this too - are you saying you have something like ‘hysterical deafness’? That everything works properly but that your conscious mind refuses to acknowledge that it is hearing anything?

I don’t mean to be rude or nosy - I just think its interesting. I’m constantly amazed at the things our minds can do.

The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. - Henry Van Dyke

My God, this line actually made me cry- this is from a 1995 article about the little girl participtating in a school dance:

For the love of GOD! The poor girl!

Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.