The Proxy Project is a public health, scientific effort aimed at ending child abuse through research.
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP) abuse is the most deadly form of child abuse. Research studies suggest that 10%-30% of MSbP victims die in childhood.
Since 10-30% of MSbP victims die, this means 70-90% of them survive. Yet, there has only been one study to date on adult MSbP survivors.
The specific aims of the Proxy Project are to:
- Help adult MSbP survivors connect with each other for the purposes of social support and sharing of information,
- Offer opportunities for MSbP survivors to participate in patient-centered MSbP research with a focus on understanding the health needs of survivors and how to meet them, and
- Use the knowledge gained in this effort to reform the health care system to engage in prevention of and early intervention on MSbP behavior.
MSbP abuse has also been called “medical abuse” because the defining characteristics of MSbP include a caregiver, usually the mother, either faking an illness in her child, or actually inducing one, for the purpose of fooling doctors and tricking them into either giving or withholding diagnostic tests and clinical interventions.
There are other characteristics of MSbP behavior, such as physical, mental, and sexual abuse, but this particular type of medical abuse is the characteristic that sets MSbP apart from other severe child abuse.
The medical abuse in MSbP is what normally causes the deaths in victims who do not survive. Deaths from MSbP could not happen if the health care system stopped being repeatedly tricked or fooled. With today’s electronic medical records and health insurance debates, it is shocking that most MSbP behavior continues undetected right under the nose of the medical system and is never stopped, even though it is obvious to come clinicians and it is expensive to insurance.