One of the state of Ohio’s freakier females was convicted last week in a rather strange case. She was found guilty in superior court of Fraud and Child Endangerment, in a case that revealed – among other stretches of credulity – that she had tricked her entire family for an entire decade into believing she was a physician.
She must have been pretty good at putting on her “con” face. She convinced the medical staff at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center that she was an MD, too.
Burgett “became a member the health care team,” as her then-3-year-old son was treated with drugs including Oxycodone and methadone, Dr. Robert Shapiro testified Tuesday in Burgett’s trial.
Investigators in Cincinnati discovered that Monika Burgett, age 39, had also routinely lied about her 5-year-old son having cancer. She did so in order to collect GoFundMe donations. She even shaved the little boy’s head and eyebrows, so that he would look like a cancer patient in internet photos.
NBC 11Alive in Cincinnati reported that Burgett’s lies finally caught up to her after law enforcement started looking into the GoFundMe fraud last year.
“I was hurt. I was confused. I didn’t understand why she would do this.” (Husband Jonathan Burgett)
During her 5-day trial last week, a child abuse expert testified that Burgett actually suffers from Munchausen Syndrome by proxie – a form of mental illness, when a parent either imagines fake illnesses for a child, or causes them.
Police were able to determine that Burgett raised at least $40,000 from strangers, who donated to her GoFundMe pages for her youngest son. The child – age 3 at the time – did have some medical conditions, including neurofibromatosis – a genetic disease. But he does not have cancer.
“Once the boy was removed from his mother and placed in child protection, he began to eat and play and thrive. He was running all over the place and laughing. He was just a cute little happy kid.” (Prosecutor Robert Shapiro)
So yes, manic Monika Burgett did a no-no, and pretended to be a doctor. But let us all – just for a moment – put her case into perspective. Number one, she didn’t kill her patient.
And number two, countless thousands of real doctors lie and steal and injure and kill more sick people everyday, than any of us can count. So you tell us who really has Munchausen Syndrome by proxie.
Societal insanity is best graded on the curve.
Here’s another look: