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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Monday, November 5, 2007

In case you missed it: A mother's battle to be believed

diana%20owen%20and%20bryanna-rose%20150.bmpDiana Owen (left, with Bryanna-Rose) told doctors her daughter’s projectile vomiting was getting worse. While sleeping, the mother had said, the child sometimes skipped breaths. Owen worried that her only child might die of an undiagnosed condition, Patricia Wen reports in Sunday's Globe.

Owen came to the chilling realization that she was being accused of making up - or even intentionally causing - her daughter's ailments. From her healthcare background, she had heard of the diagnosis the doctors pinned on her: Munchausen by Proxy, a rare mental disorder in which caretakers fabricate or induce illnesses in their children to gain attention from doctors.

Her daughter was placed into the protective custody of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. This marked the start of one mother's odyssey to prove her sanity, a task that would require painstaking persistence as authorities clung to their original judgment of her.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:39 AM
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