A parenting blogger has been accused of injecting her daughter with urine.
The mother from Australia, who has not been named, used her blog to gain support from readers and charities for her nine-year-old daughter who was born with a genetic illness, according to ABC News.
The daughter's illness meant she was frequently taken to hospital and in March doctors became concerned when they found yeast and fungus growing in one of the girl's intravenous tubes, suggesting the tubes had been contaminated with urine.
The child is also reported to have had skin peeling and a type of rash consistent with laxative abuse.
Police allegedly found syringes, urine samples and laxatives in the mother's handbag.
A friend of the blogger, who asked to be called Karen, told ABC News she is still coming to terms with the blogger's arrest: "It makes me very sad that my friend has been accused of harming her child because she's last person I would ever, ever expect to do anything to any of her children."
The girl has been removed from her mother’s care and her condition is said to be improving.
The mother's court hearing has been adjourned until December.
A rare form of child abuse, known as Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy, is being suggested as possible explanation for the mother’s actions, according to Australian news programme 7.30.
Munchausen's syndrome, also known as factitious disorder, is a condition where a person pretends to be ill or causes illness or injury to themselves - in by proxy cases, harm is inflicted on other people.
According to the NHS healthcare professionals in the UK prefer to use the term fabricated or induced illness, or factitious disorder imposed on another, rather than Munchausen's, as the latter term "places the emphasis on the person carrying out the abuse, rather than the victim".
It's difficult for healthcare professionals to estimate how widespread fabricated or induced illness is, because many cases may go unreported or undetected, but it is believed that in a population of one million people, around one child per year would be affected.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST: