Smile You’re on Candid Camera

Some doctors say the best medicine for some children who suffer from recurring, mysterious illnesses may be cameras in their hospital room to rule out their parents as the cause of the youngsters’ ill health. That prescription comes from five physicians who authored a study, detailing how 41 cameras in an Atlanta hospital during four years caught 23 mothers injecting their children with urine, switching their medications and even suffocating them to keep them sick. The mothers allegedly suffered from a mental illness called Munchausen by proxy, which causes parents to purposely harm their children to gain sympathy for themselves. Some groups say the diagnosis is used by doctors in order to exonerate themselves of an inability to diagnose a child’s condition, or to rid themselves of a troublesome mother. Other specialists, meanwhile, call hidden cameras an unethical invasion of privacy and say it means doctors must silently let the behavior continue. [The doctors better be real careful because, you never know when you might show-up on a triple x’er.]