1. Lyrical

    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    Keeping Someone Sedated/Sick Without Raising Flags

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Lyrical, Apr 5, 2017.

    I've tried googling this, and aside from feeling like I'm gonna attract attention from Big Brother, I'm having trouble finding a relevant answer. So I figured I'd ask the font of wisdom that is all of you.

    I need a way that a person could keep another person sedated for long periods of time - which would not raise flags in the medical community if doctors were called in to evaluate the sedated individual.

    Or even a substance which would make someone extremely ill, but not kill them.

    One of my characters has severe Munchausen By Proxy and she is going to keep her adolescent son in a bed-ridden state for a few years. I'm familiar with the psychology of this scenario, but not the actual medical science of it.
     
  2. Dr.Meow

    Dr.Meow Contributor Contributor

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    Well, that's almost impossible to keep someone sedated without a doctor or medical professional able to tell if they were called in. Things like rat poison, or certain other poisons, when administered through food/drink in lower doses will keep someone sick without killing them. There's been more than a few situations in fiction and IRL that have used this method. Of course, the thing that always catches the perp is a medical examination, in most cases at least. There is one drug that is extremely difficult to detect though, I cannot for the life of me remember the name, but I believe it causes a heart attack but is not traceable under normal screenings. Of course, I do not believe said substance will do anything if a lethal dose is not administered. From my understanding it's either heart attack which results in death, or nothing at all.
     
  3. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Lying, dog-faced pony Marine Supporter Contributor

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    Do you mean digitalis? My pop-culture, murder mystery medical education says that it comes from a garden plant (foxglove), is virtually undetectable unless specifically looked for, and causes heart attacks at the right dosage. Pretty sure I learned about it from Agatha Christie or one of her colleagues.

    But I don't think it's good for inducing long-term problems, just sudden heart attacks.
     
  4. Pinkymcfiddle

    Pinkymcfiddle Banned

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    It's used in Columbo where a dentist inserts it under a crown. But, as you say, it is used to induce a heart attack.
     
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  5. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Admin Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    low level arsenic poisioning , Carbon monoxide posioning, vitamins
     
  6. Dr.Meow

    Dr.Meow Contributor Contributor

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    Yeah, I think that's the one. I figured it was only good for heart attack, but OP was looking for something difficult to detect as well and that's all I could think of.
     
  7. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    Just make up a new drug. Maybe add a side effect, such as mild delirium, to throw off doctors. Doctors investigating the patient will try to eliminate the usual agents, such as drugs & alcohol, body chemical disturbance, poison, mental illness. If it hasn't been on the market long (think, right out of a lab), or perhaps an experimental version that would be discarded by the pharma company, then it might be impossible or nearly so for investigators to have a strategy to find the cause.
     
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  8. rktho

    rktho Contributor Contributor

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    "I'm not a serial killer I'm an author who writes about serial killers"
     
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  9. Lyrical

    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    Thanks for your input, everyone. I've decided to move away from the sedation aspect and focus more on illness, since that seems to be the easier thing to maintain. I have found three possible solutions, and may mix two of them, ultimately. I thought I'd share in case someone else has a similiar question in the future.

    I found that eyedrops can be extremely toxic, but not usually lethal. They can cause mild coma, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, blue lips/nails, low body temperature, seizures, difficulty breathing and a number of other symptoms. All presented at once, this is fairly recognizable, but there have been cases where small enough doses adminstered consistently caused illness which flumoxed doctors for a long time.

    Another promising one I read about is nutmeg poisoning. Too much nutmeg can cause hallucinations and out-of-body sensation, but most often intense nausea, dizziness, extreme dry mouth, and a lingering slowdown of normal brain function. Since it's relatively uncommon, most doctors wouldn't think to go straight to that unless someone confessed to have ingested nutmeg (some people do try it as a drug.)

    I think the mother in question will alternative between the two from time to time, to keep the symptoms irregular and difficult to diagnose.

    The third one I heard about was a mother who kept her daughter extremely ill by injecting urine into her IV. Caused horrible renal issues, but absolutely bewildered her doctors.
     
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  10. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Admin Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    nutmeg's been done - in ghostman by roger hobbs one of the bad guys makes a guy eat a jar of nutmeg then leaves him with a pistol and one round to kill himself when the effects get too much
     
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  11. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    That could work if the mother herself was a doctor and/or had medical knowledge and there were reasons why no other doctors had examined the son. Secluded community, action taking place long ago, father/family absent, mother being a prominent/feared/respected member of the community "above suspicion", a mix of all this and some more...
     

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