I'm currently writing a paper on Munchhausen syndrom by proxy (a.k.a. factitious illness by proxy) for my Psych of Violence & Agressions class for my undergrad. I've come up with a moral dilemma that I'd be curious to know what you think of. I've been fascinated by human behavior, which has driven me to work towards becoming a psychiatrist-- as I beleive that many mental illnesses are caused by physiological conditions that can be manipulated in many ways to help treat the afflicted individuals. My particular interest is forensic psychiatry-- I really want to work closely with criminals to treat them and rehabilitate if possible. (And study & research if rehabilitation isn't possible.) So here's the problem: I strongly believe that people who have committed child abuse should not have the priveledge of raising & bearing & spending time with children. Sounds pretty basic, right? Well it completely conflicts with my belief that mentally ill humans are treatable! Or does it? I know there's no absolute right or wrong answer to this question, but I'm definitely interested in understanding how you all feel about this conflict. What are the caviats for the moral issue of treatment of persons that are ill enough to harm others, including children? How does a psychiatrist generally view a person who has committed "absolute" crimes? Are there any absolutes? Thanks for your thoughts!