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Pain Research and Management
Volume 6, Issue 4, Pages 197-199
Case Report

A Case of Pain, Factitious Disorder and Boundary Violations

Isabelle Cote

Department of Psychiatry, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although health professionals are usually familiar with factitious disorders, evaluating such cases may be complicated, particularly in the legal arena. This article describes a patient who presented with pain complaints to numerous doctors. Eventually, a malpractice suit was brought against one of the patient's physicians who had diagnosed her condition as multiple personality disorder (dissociative identity disorder). Factitious disorder and the doctor's prescription of pain medications were issues raised during the trial. In view of the issue of harm, physicians' responsibilities and limitations during ongoing medical care are addressed in this case report.