Libow, Schreier, & Munchausen by Proxy: Part 10 – More Book Critique

In my previous posts in this series, I review the foundational work of Libow & Schreier, early Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP) researchers. In my last post, I begin to critique a book they published together on the subject called “Hurting for Love”, and in this post, I complete my critique. Following posts will cover another scientist’s review of the book, which you will see echoes some of the points I make.

My Reaction to “Hurting for Love”

In my previous posts, I admit that I did not read the whole book, so a valid criticism might be that I need to read the whole thing before I Marijuana jointcriticize it. However, if you do read my last post, you can imagine how disgusted and angry I would get if I read the whole book and it all
was like the little part I covered!

Therefore, I’ll puff and pass…

What the few passages I read from the book made me realize, taken with their other work that I actually have read carefully and in its entirety, is that these individuals love to talk about sensationalist case studies, and then pontificate about philosophical things. This makes good news, so they kept publishing these tabloids accompanied by armchair quarterbacking. I do not really know why they did that. My final take on them is that

Libow & Schreier didn’t come up with any lasting theories about identification, screening, diagnosis, or treatment. They just go through their cases, changing the names, and then basically describing that they gave these families substandard care.

I do not know why anyone would want to read this book, really. It is actually painful to read – all these kids swimming through the medical system, being caught temporarily by Libow & Schreier so they can reel them in, take a trophy pic, and release them back into the rapids so they may go about their “ultimate fate” as Kevin did, one of their patients they write about in the book and I talk about in my last post.

As I said, I’m not the only one who thinks this.

Crime scene tape banner

IPT Forensics Book Review of “Hurting for Love”

In 1993, the same year “Hurting for Love” came out, researcher Deirdre Conway Rand published a book review in the journal IPT Forensics. In my next blog post, I compare my criticisms to the ones present in her book review.

Have you read “Hurting for Love” by Libow & Schreier?

If so, please comment on our blog and tell us what you thought of it.

Photograph of marijuana joint by Raihan Rana. Crime scene banner by Kerbstone on Pixabay.


2 thoughts on “Libow, Schreier, & Munchausen by Proxy: Part 10 – More Book Critique

  1. “Libow & Schreier didn’t come up with any lasting theories about identification, screening, diagnosis, or treatment. ”

    The only “treatment” is going to happen in either the criminal or a civil court.

    Much of this kind of stuff it is impossible to detect in real time, if ever. But when you can detect it, it will be by the parent v child animosity. That should be the queue for taking legal action.



  2. I have not read the book. The title alone “Hurting for Love” made me think of people who are in need of love, not hurting someone and describing that abuse as love. Maybe the MSbP perpetrators are hurting for (that is, in need of) love, but that detracts focus from the victims. Much of medical science is dictated by the same principles as criminal science. Victimology tells a great deal about an illness or reaction. E.g., when quinine-containing products caused issues, it was discovered by studying the victims that they shared common points (ethnic/genetic heritage). By looking at victims, we can often determine a great deal about a pathological agent in traditional medicine. By looking at victims, why can we not determine the same about pathological presentations in psychology, and also learn what victims succeed, versus those who become perpetrators themselves? Libow & Schreier, whom I’m familiar with in other publications, are so fascinated by the MSbP that they forget to act on what they learn. (If anything.) Imagine if, all those years ago, more effective screening procedures were put into place via family history, caretaker questionnaires, etc. I have an uncle who’d likely still be alive. But that’s my view.


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