Julie Cunningham and Marc Feldman, writing about "Munchausen by Internet" in the March-April 2011 edition of The Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine journal, note that "factitious illness (FD) behavior is not primarily motivated by a desire for external rewards, such as economic gain, access to narcotics or evasion of criminal responsibility. Instead, persons with FD regard the sick role as a means to obtain attention, nurturance and sympathy from others; to control others; or to express rage.
"The sick role is so intrinsically rewarding for these individuals that many undergo painful, extensive, and invasive medical procedures so others will accept and treat them as patients."
This situation was not rewarding to little JJ, who endured needless medical procedures and believed he would die soon. This case suggest a specific type of factitious disorder called Munchausen's by Proxy, in which an innocent child is traumatized because of a parent or caregiver's lies about their health.
Court papers described JJ enduring many months of medical treatments in search of his non-existent disease, including dozens of blood and specimen tests and the equivalent of nearly one continuous week of EEG monitoring - all the while his mother enjoyed the sympathy, attention nd donations of well-meaning supporters.