Mama/M.A.M.A.: Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy (2002)

Genres - Culture & Society, Science & Technology  |   Sub-Genres - Medicine, Psychology, Social Issues  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Oscar-nominated documentarian Amy Sommer (Waco: The Rules of Engagement) turns her attentions toward family matters in this in-depth look at the bizarre and sometimes deadly phenomenon of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP). In this outlandish form of supposed child abuse, mentally unstable mothers attempt to gain the attention and sympathy of the medical community by allegedly faking their child's illness or intentionally making their own healthy children sick. Though the founder of this supposed medical phenomenon has been discredited, doctors across the globe have still seen cases of child illness that they believe to be a direct result of MSbP. In this documentary, Sommer explores instances in which MSbP may have been used to punish mothers seeking medical assistance for their ailing children. The prospect of doctors prescribing drugs never approved for pediatric use to infants is also explored, as are cases in which medical professionals diagnose cases of MSbP without even meeting the mother of the child in question.

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Keywords

bizarre, child-abuse, controversy, evidence, expose [revelation], false-accusation, investigation, medicine, mental-illness, mother, pediatrics