Mother of 2 Arrested for Poisoning Children With Visine

It seems we are hearing more and more about women who deliberately try to make their children sick. I suppose it's always existed, but in the past, people couldn't believe that a mother would intentionally harm her child. Now we know better. There is even a term for it: Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Is this what caused Samantha Elizabeth Unger of Pennsylvania to poison her two toddlers with Visine? No motive is given yet, but authorities say that Unger has been arrested for poisoning her 3-year-old son by pouring bottles of Visine into his juice on more than one occasion.


Her other son, who is 1, also got ahold of the juice and drank some and also reportedly became ill.

It all started when Unger's older son was hospitalized several times for severe illnesses. He was eventually flown by helicopter to a hospital, and tests revealed that his body contained tetrahydrozoline, which is used in eye drops and nasal sprays.

Unger reportedly admitted that she had poured Visine into his drink to make him sick. She was charged with three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of endangering the welfare of children. Prosecutors decided not to charge her with attempted murder, since they couldn't prove that was her intent. This despite a doctor at the hospital saying that the child had been given enough Visine that it "created a substantial risk of death."

Why would a mother do this to her child? Could a mom who did this be suffering from a disorder that caused her to try to make her children sick so she can get attention and sympathy? Should we not discount the idea that some mothers just don't love their children and want them gone or incapacitated?

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Thankfully, doctors now recognize that this kind of scenario is indeed possible and investigate situations where children are continually ill.

Luckily, the children recovered and have been placed in the care of their grandparents, who say they are doing "great."

I can't imagine what children who go through this kind of thing will feel when they grow up and find out what their mom did to them.

Should she have been charged with attempted murder?


Image via Adams County Prison

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