False accusations of Munchausen by Proxy, The Truth Behind the Label: Part 3 – A Failing Justice System

Christina England



(Part: 1 | Part: 2 | Part: 3 | Part: 4 | Part: 5 | Part: 6)

A failing justice system

The justice system is fraught with difficulties for an accused person. The odds are always stacked up against them due to failures in legal aid [ as established by the case of Steel and Morris v UK that showed the unavailability of legal aid in defamation cases.

Lawyers are so expensive that they are now reserved for the rich. This is explained by the defence attorney Ryan in Sick Kids

Ryan is one of the leading defence attorneys for people accused of MSBP Often working for free, he has persuaded the courts to overturn two guilty verdicts and has won dismissals of allegations in four other cases. He said he consults with 30 to 40 women annually who are accused of the syndrome and has volunteered more than 4,000 hours of his time defending women. He estimates the cost of defending someone accused of MSBP can range from $25,000 to $1 million”

With these type of legal expenses, working class mothers of disabled or sick children have little or no chance in clearing their names, should they be falsely accused. The stress of fighting to prove their innocence in whatever way they can is often extremely difficult and time consuming on the mother/care giver. If the mother/care giver is single then she has to weigh up whether she can fit in work and child care around the vast amount of paperwork and research needed to win her case. The stress of litigation and character assassination can cause mental health problems in those with no previous history. It has also been confirmed by professionals that parents are unable to sue.

Mr Clifford Miller a Lawyer wrote this on the BMJ Rapid Responses in answer to an article


The House of Lords’ decision reported in your 30 April article ‘Parents wrongfully accused of child abuse cannot sue doctors‘ is to be welcomed at least in part. It confirms that paediatricians and likely others who make false, reckless or negligent allegations of abuse against a parent owe a duty of care to the child.

Consequently, the guardians of the child may bring an action on the child’s behalf any time up to its 18th birthday. Alternatively the child will have three years from the 18th birthday to bring a claim for personal injury. If other claims can be sustained then perhaps up to six years beyond the 18th birthday, such as where a prosperous family environment was destroyed and the child left in less advantageous circumstances in consequence.

Accordingly, paediatricians are at risk for periods of between 21 to 24 years, as will be their employers.”



Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.