Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Hoax exposed - one less risk

It has just come to light that a painful condition called " cello scrotum" that was supposed to affect male cellists and which was written up in the British Medical Journal in 1974 was a hoax. The author was Dr, now Baroness, Elaine Murphy who did it as a riposte to what she saw as another spoof medical condition " guitar nipple" which had been reported in the BMJ.

It is only recently when she saw that the condition was being referenced by other researchers that she decided to come clean. At least one risk manager I know used to show a photograph of a cellist in his presentations and ask his audience to identify the risk.

So there's one risk that risk managers of orchestras will be able to discount. Did male cellists take out insurance cover and if so were there any claims? Were any dissuaded from taking up the instrument and have the sales of cellos been depressed as a result? What other diseases are spoofs? The mind boggles.

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