Mother ‘poisoned child with insulin for attention’

A nurse has been arrested for administering insulin to her four-year-old son in a suspected case of Münchausen syndrome by proxy, where the guardian of a child induces illness to gain attention.

Mother 'poisoned child with insulin for attention'
The mother was caught adding insulin to her son's drip-feed. Drip-feed photo: Shutterstock

The mother, a 42-year-old nurse, admitted her son to a hospital in Turin, northern Italy, where she allegedly gave him doses of insulin to create symptoms similar to those of serious illnesses, La Stampa reported.

Although the doses were not large enough to kill her son, the four-year-old suffered a cerebral edema, a swelling of the brain, and was in a semi-conscious state.

As the child failed to respond to treatment the mother appeared to grow more and more desperate.

Eventually, a member of staff noticed that the child’s condition appeared to get worse every time her mother came to visit him and reported her.

A secret video camera was then installed in the child’s room where the mother was caught adding insulin to her son’s drip-feed.

The mother was promptly arrested and accused of attempted murder.

The woman is suspected to be a sufferer of Münchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychological condition where the caretaker of a child, usually the mother, either makes up fake symptoms or causes real symptoms to make it look like their child is ill in order to get attention and sympathy.

The woman’s family are said to be in shock.

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Italy’s president calls for ‘full truth’ on anniversary of Bologna bombing

President Sergio Mattarella said on Tuesday it was the state's duty to shed more light on the 1980 bombing of Bologna's train station, on the 42nd anniversary of the attack that killed 85 people and injured 200.

Italy's president calls for 'full truth' on anniversary of Bologna bombing

On August 2nd 1980, a bomb exploded in the railway station’s waiting room, causing devastation on an unprecedented scale.

Five members of terrorist groups were later convicted in relation to the bombing, the worst episode in Italy’s ‘Years of Lead’ period of political violence in the 1970s and 80s.

Most recently, in 2020, a former member of the far-right Armed Revolutionary Nucleus (NAR) was sentenced to life imprisonment for providing logistical support to those who carried out the attack.

But suspicions remain of cover-ups and the involvement of “deviant elements” within the nation’s security services, reported Italian news agency Ansa.

READ ALSO: Bologna massacre: 40 years on, questions remain over Italy’s deadliest postwar terror attack

“The bomb that killed people who happened to be at the station on that morning 42 years ago still reverberates with violence in the depths of the country’s conscience,” Mattarella said in a speech marking the anniversary on Tuesday.

“It was the act of cowardly men of unequalled inhumanity, one of the most terrible of the history of the Italian Republic.

A train compartment at Bologna station pictured following the 1980 bombing attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari.

“It was a terrorist attack that sought to destabilise democratic institutions and sow fear, hitting ordinary citizens going about their everyday tasks.

“On the day of the anniversary our thoughts go, above all, to the relatives forced to suffer the greatest pain.

“The neo-fascist nature of the massacre has been established in court and further steps have been made to unveil the cover-ups and those who ordered the attack in order to comply with the Republic’s duty to seek the full truth”.

The bombing remains Western Europe’s fourth deadliest postwar terror attack, and one of the most devastating in Italy’s history.