Although Munchhausen’s Syndrome by Proxy is a problem already recognized by the mental health community, it is a problem that must also be recognized by the law enforcement community, which must remain alert to any existing cases. Sadly, previous unexplained deaths of children may actually have been preventable homicides if recognized early as cases of MSBP.
The education of both law enforcement personnel and those in the medical community, coupled with a commitment by law enforcement to prosecute cases of MSBP, may be the only hope for halting this type of abuse of children.The lives of innocent children may depend on the swift recognition and immediate prosecution of those suffering from this bizarre form of abuse.
- Officers should consult their legal advisers to determine appropriate applicable statutes. For a more in-depth discussion of video surveillance,see Robert A. Fiatal, “Lights, Camera, Action: Video Surveillance and the Fourth Amendment,” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, January and February 1989.