Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Factitious Disorder by Proxy Definition:

Very rare mental disorder where a person deliberately feigns symptoms of someone in their care.

Related Terms: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD or ADD, Munchausen's Syndrome, Factitious Disorder

This is a novel mental disorder recently proposed in an extremely tragic criminal case in Australia to attempt to allow the perpetrator of extremely cruel crimes upon her own daughter to escape accountability for her actions.

Factitious disorder by proxyBut while the language may be new, the psychiatric theory is not. The law has long seen the likes of Munchausen's Syndrome, Factitious Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD and the virtually synonymous condition of Munchausen's syndrome by proxy (see Legal Definiytion of MUnchausen's Syndrome). These explnataions free individuals of the full weight of the criminal law for crimes they have committed; all in the heels of the well-known M'Nagthen Rules of 1843.


  • Duhaime, Lloyd, Factitious Disorder by Proxy, Legal Inormation Disorder Directly, LawMag, June 14, 2014
  • Mother Poisoned Daughter, 4, With Cancer Drugs to "Attract Attention", The Australian Newspaper, June 11, 2014 [once available at the URL of http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/mother-poisoned-daughter-4-with-cancer-drugs-to-attract-attention/story-e6frg6nf-1226950624987]



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