Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Mothering to death
  1. Roy Meadow
  1. Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK
  1. Professor Sir Roy Meadow.


Three families are described in which the healthy only child was, from early childhood, put to bed and treated as if ill, dependent, and incapable. This abnormal mothering continued for 28, 45, and 48 years, respectively, and the children died as disabled adults. In each case, the three mothers evaded medical, educational, and social services. The origins of their behaviour are examined, and the links with more common forms of separation anxiety, school refusal, and perceived and factitious illness are discussed.

  • child abuse
  • neglect
  • separation anxiety
  • Munchausen syndrome by proxy
View Full Text

Statistics from


    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.