Season 3, Episode 5

“Mothers Accused”

20/20 on WE

It has often been said that a mother’s intuition tells them when something is wrong with their child. But is that instinct always right? Are there times when mothers misread vital clues? Can they interfere too much in their child’s care - or not enough?

When Julie Patrick’s son, Philip, was born with a mysterious medical condition, Julie took a very active role in his care. She adjusted his warming blanket and even, at one doctor’s suggestion, put cornstarch in his feeding tube. But was she helping her child, or harming him? Staff at Vanderbilt University Medical Center suspected Julie was suffering from Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, a disorder in which a person, usually a mother, intentionally abuses someone under their care in order to get attention to themselves. Was it possible Julie was intentionally harming baby Philip? And was his life in danger?

Also, Hannah and Larry Overton had a growing young family. But they felt they had room for one more - four year old Andrew Burd. But when Andrew died after only four months in their home, suspicions focused on Hannah. Did Andrew die because of her abuse?

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