A family from Clarke County, Virginia, lost custody of their two children when a Child Services Worker – with no medical or psychological training – “determined” that the mother was suffering from Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. This outdated term (since replaced with the new charge of “medical neglect”) refers to a psychological disorder whereby the affected parent is driven to claim that their child is sick in order to draw attention to themselves.

Never mind that medical tests ultimately found the cause of the family’s ongoing maladies. The social services worker’s unqualified diagnosis led to removal of the children from their home for several weeks, during which time both already-ill children were exposed to tuberculosis. The son also suffered a broken ankle, which the state refused to treat, insisting it was only a sprain.