SHOCK: Mother Accused of Injecting Feces Into IV Line of Son With Cancer

At the risk of engaging in speculation, this horrible act brings to mind the psychological condition known as Munchausen by proxy, colloquially referred to as medical child abuse. The condition is defined as:

Munchausen by proxy syndrome (MBPS) is a relatively rare form of child abuse that involves the exaggeration or fabrication of illnesses or symptoms by a primary caretaker.

Also known as "medical child abuse," MBPS was named after Baron von Munchausen, an 18th-century German dignitary known for making up stories about his travels and experiences in order to get attention. "By proxy" indicates that a parent or other adult is making up or exaggerating symptoms in a child, not in himself or herself.

Munchausen by proxy syndrome is a mental illness and requires treatment.

About MBPS

In MBPS, an individual — usually a parent or caregiver— causes or fabricates symptoms in a child. The adult deliberately misleads others (particularly medical professionals), and may go as far as to actually cause symptoms in the child through poisoning, medication, or even suffocation. In most cases (85%), the mother is responsible for causing the illness or symptoms.

Usually, the cause of MBPS is a need for attention and sympathy from doctors, nurses, and other professionals. Some experts believe that it isn't just the attention that's gained from the "illness" of the child that drives this behavior, but also the satisfaction in deceiving individuals whom they consider to be more important and powerful than themselves.

Whatever the psychological condition of the mother, it's an unspeakable tragedy in a family that has endured more than its share of tragedies. Here's hoping the kid can defy the odds and overcome these incomprehensible setbacks.