Kenneth Feldman MD is a senior pediatrician at the Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital and Medical Center University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.
He's the author of numerous academic papers, but Dr. Feldman is perhaps most notable for the extraordinary number of MSBP allegations he has been involved in. Although undisclosed the figure is certainly above 100 and quite likely above 200.
The city of Seattle and it's metropolitan regions has a populations of around 4.6 million people – the state of Washington (including Seattle) has just over 6.3 million people. Using the British government's estimate of the incidence of MSBP – 1 case per year in every 1 million adults, Dr. Feldman and his team will have had to have seen between 100 and 200 million pediatric referrals! The high figure would be over 3 times the British population.
Other estimates suggest up to 4 cases per million of the general population, which would lead to his team needing to see a minimum of 25 million referrals to reach 100 cases of MSBP, just under half the current British population!
Schreier had predicted an incidence of 1200 of new cases per year in United States, but this number was recently revised to about 200 per year, even less than the UK government estimate in Working Together
. Most pediatricians are reckoned to be lucky to even see one suspect Witchcraft Syndrome/MSBP case. The problem now is that so many false allegations are made it has become impossible for anyone to collect any meaningful statistics.
Although in the UK tens of thousands of allegations of MSBP have been made (and thousands of children forcibly removed from their mothers as a result) no individual pediatrician has yet come close to the number of allegations Dr Feldman and his staff have become involved in, other than of course Dr David Southall and Sir Roy Meadow.
Although the figures of alleged cases in the Seattle area are extraordinary, no paper or call for funding for research into why the Washington city is perceived to be such a hot-bed of MSBP activity has ever been requested by the University of Washington School of Medicine or Dr Feldman, any member of his team, or Dr Richard Molteni, the medical director at Seattle Children's Hospital.
A number of lawsuits against Dr. Feldman have been launched in the past, though these have been unsuccessful on the basis that Dr. Feldman has a duty of care to raise concerns when he observes them or they are reported to him. A notable judgment in 2001 saw a dissenting voice in the form of Judge Kenneth H Kato;
So viewed, Dr. Feldman apparently has a penchant for diagnosing (or misdiagnosing) MSBP, notwithstanding its rarity and his questioned qualifications to make that diagnosis.
See also Persecuted parents or protected children?
by Carol Smith – Seattle Post-Intelligencer – 7th August 2002 (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/81574_munchausen07.shtml
But is he the current record holder? I've heard rumours of another pediatrician in the US who is touching on 300 allegations. In the North East of England there are hints of a bit of over-enthusiasm alleging Witchcraft Syndrome - but has any English or Welsh pediatrician come anywhere near Feldman's suspected record, other than (again) of course Dr David Southall and Sir Roy Meadow?