Factitious Disorder by Proxy Münchausen syndrome by proxy

Texas Mother Charged With Feeding Her Child Feces

A woman in Texas has been accused of repeatedly smearing human waste on her 3-year-old daughter’s intravenous feeding line, potentially causing life-threatening infections.

Emily Beth McDonald, 23, of Austin, was charged with felony injury to a child. She faces up to life in prison if convicted.

According to an arrest affidavit, a surveillance video at Dell Children’s Medical Center captured McDonald on Sunday placing feces from a soiled diaper on the cap of a tube with a direct link to her child’s bloodstream.

When interviewed by the police, Emily Beth allegedly confessed and said she knew that her actions could make the child severely ill and possibly even kill her. No motive was disclosed.

McDonald was released on a $100,000 bond Wednesday, but she must wear an electronic monitoring device and comply with a police protective order that prevents her from seeing her three children.

Bob Phillips, an attorney representing McDonald, told the newspaper she is a “fine young woman from a fine family who loves her children very much.”

“I believe that as the facts unfold, the impression people have of this young woman will change for the better,” Phillips said.

The affidavit said that the sick child was admitted to the hospital April 15 with a high fever and “a long history of chronic diarrhea.” She had a catheter and doctors conducted a blood test, which was positive for foreign bacteria common in feces.

Doctors inserted a feeding tube.

“The medical records showed the child would start getting better, and feces mostly likely would get introduced,” Austin police child abuse Detective Chris Hallas said.

The affidavit said that hospital staff placed a camera in the room based on their concerns and it recorded McDonald’s actions. They reviewed the tape Sunday.

This story has rocked the preemie community. The baby in question is a former preemie who has had many health issues in her life. Emily Beth has been an active participant of a preemie support group visited by many moms I know.

It appears that this mom has Munchausen by proxy syndrome (MBPS)

In MBPS, an individual — usually a mother — deliberately makes another person (most often his or her own preschool child) sick or convinces others that the person is sick. The parent or caregiver misleads others into thinking that the child has medical problems by lying and reporting fictitious episodes. He or she may exaggerate, fabricate, or induce symptoms. As a result, doctors usually order tests, try different types of medications, and may even hospitalize the child or perform surgery to determine the cause.

Relatives are now caring for this mom’s 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son.


About the author

Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of GrowingYourBaby.com and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!


  • Please look in Yahoo Search under –
    Diana Owen – A mothers battle to be believed. I was telling the truth , we have audio ,video and Medical records to prove that the hospital, Doctors. 2 Munchausen Experts False reported, ignored medical evidence Hospital staff eye witness account’s of the very same systom’s I had reproted for my daughter.
    When I knew they were disstorting facts to build a Munchausen case I demanded a video camera in her room (never happened) I audio taped Hospital Staff !( RI fellows fed law )for some Dr’s Munchausen is a career builder, In Mass and RI it is being abused by 2 Munchausen so call Experts that also travel thre the UAS to be Munchausen Expert Witnesses?
    Munchausen is very rare, there is a very strick protocol that Dr’s must fellow before they can even accuse a person of Munchausen, in some cases the protocol is not being used. If in fact she was caught on tape by the hospital abuseing her daughter and making her ill, GOOD for the hospital for doing it the right way for the safty of the child, I pray it was not done in the same fashion as the so call professionals in our case… our lives are distroyed,, the Dr’s need to understand even being accused, then proven innocent of munchausen can distroy the families lives. The accused and the family is placed on a Nationwide Electronic Registry … Even those that have only been accused or innocent can not get their names taken off EVER!!!! You are tracked and flaged in hospitals, schools, police and under SSN , it has been alot of fun, If this hospital did in fact fellow Munchausen protocol. Great for that child !!!!!!!!!!!

    By the way. I have been a hard core Human (children), Animal and Environmental Rights Advocate for 25 yrs. I was only advocating for my childs rights on a hospital with a bad rep.

  • I am glad you were able to get your little girl back. The injustice you and your family suffered because of this is criminal.

    I truly hope things work out for you in the future.

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