Thursday 18th of July 2024

John R. Brinkley: Quack who treats male infertility with goat testicles

Morning Mirror Desk »

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John R. Brinkley, an American physician. However, there is considerable doubt as to whether he can be called a physician – as he did not have any medical degree, but continued to perform physician for many years.

John Brinkley also performed many surgeries despite not being legal. Like many, he is one of the world’s “con artists” i,e, a fraudster. The entire world knew him as “Goat Gland Doctor”.

How did Brinkley become famous? He claimed to cure such a problem men have, a problem that is endemic. He claimed to “cure male infertility” by treating infertility. With this, John R. Brinkley got all the success and prestige.

John R. Brinkley, a quack physician, continued to treat male infertility from the 1920s-1930s. However, Brinkley’s method of treating infertility was “bizarre” and “completely unscientific”. As a result, he became the center of discussion across the country. Brinkley would “fill the scrotums of infertile men with goat testicles” to fertile males!

He claimed it was a “surefire way” to cure infertility. However, he did not attach the goat’s testicles to the human scrotum while performing the surgery. He would simply fill the testicle with the goat’s testicles and sew the area. Men whose semen wasn’t strong or whose sperm weren’t suitable for procreation would turn to Brinkley in flocks for the treatment.

Between 1917 and 1930, John R. Brinkley earned billions in the name of curing male infertility. He also started several hospitals in his own name. Meanwhile, he claimed that “a man had a child after transplanting a goat’s testicles”. He also advertised in various media by taking pictures with the child. After that, his name spread in the country and abroad. Even though that child was not born due to that — the whole thing was a lie.

Brinkley also preached that “goat testicles could cure 27 serious diseases ranging from dementia to emphysema”. Therefore, Brinkley started treatment with goat testicles in all cases. Brinkley started a radio station with the latest technology in Kansas, America, to promote his ideas.

Brinkley named this radio station ‘KFKB’. With this radio station, he reached people all over the country under the guise of entertainment. Due to this, his fame spread further.

Brinkley soon attracted the attention of the American Medical Association (AMA) due to the frenzy of publicity. The AMA sent spies to Brinkley’s clinic to learn about his treatment process.

The spy saw Brinkley giving a woman goat testicles as a cure for a tumor! It was then that the AMA began to investigate Brinkley. According to the AMA, Brinkley actually has no training or degree to be a physician. Later, he was immediately banned.

Further research shows that far from being cured by goat testicles, many patients were suffering from various types of infections due to this and even many died. Investigations revealed that between 1930 and 1941, more than 12 people died from Brinkley’s treatment. After that, several cases were filed against this quack.

Despite all this, a section of America still advocated Brinkley’s treatment method. Brinkley’s license to practice medicine and radio station was revoked. Many of his properties were confiscated.

John R. Brinkley suffered from multiple physical problems before his death. He suffered three heart attacks. One leg had to be cut off. He died on May 26, 1942, in San Antonio, Texas. However, he did not use goat testicles in his treatment.

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