Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy: A Physician's Liability to Report

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The focus of this note is to provide an analysis of the good faith standard and what physicians should be required to report. Part II of this paper examines the history, characteristics, and elements of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, and also looks at the problems faced by physicians when faced with diagnosing Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. Part III looks at the origin of MSBP case law as a criminal matter, but focuses on three recent court rulings in different jurisdictions that address the civil remedies for those who have been accused of child abuse by means of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. Part III looks at federal legislation that addresses the reporting of child abuse, which many states have modeled their reporting statutes after. Part IV analyzes the good faith standard and additional reporting requirements. Part V evaluates the standard, addresses the concerns of opponents of the good faith standard, and recommends coming up with a good faith standard, which holds the policy of child protection as the utmost consideration.

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