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 criticize 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.
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.