SINGAPORE – A woman who repeatedly injected her six-year-old son with insulin in an attempt to give him a peaceful death was jailed for five years on Wednesday (May 5).
The 29-year-old Singaporean woman, who was diagnosed with Munchausen syndrome by proxy, had given her son the injections, even though he did not actually need them. Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a mental disorder that manifests itself in caregivers who pose diseases in or cause harm to a person during their care.
According to court documents, the woman injected her son with insulin at least 13 times over seven months in 2019 and hospitalized him several times. She had done so in an attempt to draw attention to herself and wanted to change the results of medical tests performed on her son to make it seem like he was ill.
The woman, who also has two daughters, would also physically harm her son for causing symptoms of illness with the aim of gaining sympathy, affection and recognition for her perceived affection towards him. While she regarded her son as her “favorite” child, she also despised him for his resemblance to his older brother who had raped her as a child.
At state courts on Wednesday, the woman – who was described as a pathological liar and also plagued by major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – pleaded guilty to a slight harm by submitting a poison to her son. , who is now nine years old. None of the parties involved in the case is named due to a court-issued gag order.
The court heard the woman had a checkered past involving her family, which includes her three brothers. One of the brothers had abused and raped her while she was between 9 and 12 years old.
These offenses first came to light when she was 13, leading to her brother being sentenced to two years in the Singapore Boys’ Home. Shooting her brother for the abuse, the woman ran away from home and married in 2013.
In 2017, the woman’s mother moved in with her after the woman’s father died. The following year, the brother who abused the woman also got married. When the woman found out that her brother’s wife was pregnant, she became furious with him for moving on with her life and felt that he did not deserve happiness.
“She decided to kill herself, her mother, the accused’s brother and her three children in September 2019, when the accused’s brother’s wife gave birth. She intended to burn everyone alive with petrol except (her own son),” the prosecution said.
For her son, she decided to kill him via insulin injections so he could die a peaceful death after learning online that a high dose of insulin could cause a person’s blood sugar level to drop, leading to brain damage, coma or death.
Planned son’s death
She decided to kill her son in September 2019 by injecting with two to three insulin pens at once to give a high dose of insulin.
She bought insulin from a pharmacy in Johor, where she was not required to prescribe. She watched YouTube videos to learn how to manage pens while constantly keeping her plans from her husband.
The woman injected her son with insulin for the first time in January 2019 on a toilet at Causeway Point. Then she observed him for the next few days and noticed that he was particularly hungry.
She injected him again on June 10 and June 17 as well as July 1 while she was at a cafe in the zoo. She also lied to doctors that her son had a seizure during his trip to the zoo. The boy’s teacher claimed he was fine.
The woman had also told the teacher that the boy was dying of leukemia; that he had an eye tumor; that he needed a liver transplant; and that he suffered from Kawasaki disease. All these allegations were lies.
The woman admitted the boy to National University Hospital on June 10 of the same year for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) because he suffered severe headaches, nausea, double vision, tinnitus, photosensitivity and numbness in the fingers. He was also reported to have a chronic history of intermittent fever, among other symptoms.
The woman’s last injection to her son was performed on July 15, just before she took the boy to NUH again to have her blood sugar monitored.
While he was in the hospital, a pediatrician spoke to the boy and was told that the woman had injected him with medication from a pen. Hospital staff then confronted the woman, who admitted the actions.
Woman a victim of her past: lawyer
Deputy prosecutor Bhajanvir Singh sought at least six years in prison for the woman, saying the woman injured her son, knowing she could be dead and that the boy’s blood sugar level had hit dangerously low levels.
The woman’s lawyer, Ng Pei Qi, said the woman’s long-term trauma had been left untreated and was so deeply rooted that she saw her former abuser in her son.
Her actions were directly affected by her mental illness, with a report from the Institute of Mental Health showing that they significantly reduced her responsibility for her actions.
“(My client) is a slave to her PTSD, depression and Munchausen syndrome. She felt guilty about her actions. For example, she tried to feed him snacks. In her opinion, she countered the actions with insulin and thought the doctors would treat her. him, “said Ng.
“The court is not judging a cold-blooded woman today who cannot move on from her past, but a victim whose trauma has caught her up.”
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