Medicine: The Munchausen Syndrome

Most people prefer to stay away from hospitals, if possible. But Elsie loved operations. In April 1947, her abdomen already laced with post-operative scars, Elsie checked in at London's Croydon General Hospital giving a false name and complaining of mysterious pains. She said she had been vomiting blood. The doctors put her to bed for rest and observation; after two days she left without warning.

Six months after that, Elsie, under still another name, was in the Royal Sussex Hospital persuading doctors that she had a bleeding ulcer. An operation was performed to determine her trouble, but before the surgeons were satisfied...

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