Distinguished British doctor admits 34 years later: BMJ case report of 'cello scrotum' was a hoax

A distinguished doctor, now a member of Britain's House of Lords, invented the fake disease "cello scrotum" 34 years ago and published a single paragraph case report in the BMJ.

Baroness Elaine Murphy, a former Professor of Psychiatry at Guy's Hospital, has confessed to manufacturing a medical condition which only existed in her imagination.

In 1974, the young Dr Murphy claimed to have discovered "cello scrotum", a painful affliction which only affected male players of the instrument.

The spoof letter was written in response to an earlier one about "guitar nipple" from a Dr P Curtis, which the young Dr Murphy thought likely also to be a spoof.

See the original BMJ case report of 'cello scrotum' from 1974: a scanned PDF file.

The Murphy family sent a card to Dr Curtis addressed to "The inventor of guitar nipple from the discoverers of cello scrotum."

Medscape listed both "cello scrotum" and "guitar nipple" in the review of Maladies in Musicians.

Letter: Cello scrotum. J M Murphy. Br Med J. 1974 May 11; 2(5914): 335.
Exposed: the myth of cello scrotum. The Independent.
Cello scrotum? It’s a load of . . . nonsense, admits Baroness Murphy. The Times.
Exposed: The medical myth of 'cello scrotum' The Daily Mail.
Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.

1 comment:

  1. The reach of Egerton Y. Davis is long indeed... http://lifeinthefastlane.com/2008/11/penis-captivus/