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Beware Of Miracle Medical Treatments

In the time of COVID-19, many people are searching for the treatment that will protect them from the dangerous virus. Unfortunately, with all of the misinformation and changing directives, some people fall victim to scams or miracle cures that actually cause more harm than good. Most of these false promises will just hit your wallet but false claims from a doctor could be cause for malpractice.

Unproven Methods for COVID-19

As of June 2020, there is no available vaccine for COVID-19. However, that has not stopped scam artists and quack doctors from trying to take advantage of people looking for help. There is even a Wikipedia page dedicated to a list of unproven methods against COVID-19, which include:  

  • Protective pendant
  • Homeopathic influenza complex
  • Curative toothpaste
  • Fancy light machine
  • Anti-coronavirus mattress
  • Violet oil
  • Cow urine

Promises of the Goat Gland Doctor

Promises of miracle cures and medical fraud are nothing new. About 100 years ago, John R. Brinkley was promoting his goat gland transplant surgery to treat men suffering from impotence and infertility. Brinkley was eventually sued for malpractice and indicted for mail fraud. 

Around 1920, John Brinkley started a medical practice in Milford, Kansas, despite never finishing his medical education. Brinkley developed the idea of transplanting goat testicles into humans to treat sexual performance problems. The “transplant” was really just inserting a small bit of goat testicle into the body. 

Brinkley spread the word about his miracle cure through building his own radio broadcasting station. At the time, the radio tower was the most powerful in the world. KFKB (Kansas’ First, Kansas’ Best) radio station broadcast entertainment programs that were ads for Brinkley’s medical remedies. As his show became more popular, Brinkley began to diagnose illnesses over the radio. 

The medical community sought to stop Brinkley from performing questionable operations. It was eventually discovered that he had no formal medical training and acquired fraudulent diplomas. The American Medical Association was not able to stop his medical practice but he eventually lost his radio license. 

Brinkley moved to Texas and built an even more powerful radio over the border in Mexico, which was outside the control of the FCC. Eventually, malpractice and fraud lawsuits exposed Brinkley’s practices, forcing him into bankruptcy.  

Informed Consent of Benefits and Risks

Doctors and surgeons generally need to obtain informed consent in order to perform surgery and medical operations. It is important to advise the patients about the possible benefits and risks so the patient can make an informed decision before undergoing treatment. Failure to obtain informed consent that results in harm or injury can be a type of medical malpractice. 

Medical Injury After Broken Promises by the Doctor

Doctors may make overly confident promises or guarantee results that do not come through. If you or a loved one suffered an injury or illness caused by a doctor, nurse, or healthcare facility, talk to experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers. The skilled medical malpractice attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian fight to get compensation for injured patients. Contact our law office online or by calling (800) 529-6162.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian
Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm’s litigation practice.  Briggs’ legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 


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