George H. Simmons

See: Morris Fishbein

"Doc" Simmons' lucrative dominance of the American Medical Association led him into numerous sidelines.  In 1921, he established the Institute of Medicine in Chicago.  This apparently was nothing more than a holding company for his bribes.  He had also been enjoying the perquisites of the American success story, a buxom mistress installed in a luxurious Gold Coast apartment.  Scoundrel that he was, Simmons was not content to flaunt this liaison to his wife; he also became increasingly cruel in his determination to get rid of her.  He then embarked on a classic ploy, the physician attempting to dispose of an unwanted wife by plying her with narcotics, trying to convince her that she is going insane, and hopefully, driving her to suicide.  After some months of this treatment, his wife fought back by filing suit against him.  A highly publicized trial in 1924 ended in his wife's testimony that he had given her heavy doses of narcotics, prescribed on the strength of his "medical experience," and then began proceedings to have her declared insane.  This was not such an unusual procedure during that period;  it had happened to literally hundreds of wives.  However, his wife proved to be tougher than most victims.  She testified in court that he had tried to have her framed on a charge of insanity.  This trial inspired more than a dozen subsequent books, plays, and movies based on the story of a physician who tries to drive his wife insane through a campaign of ministration of drugs and psychological terrorism.  The most famous was "Gaslight," in which Charles Boyer played the role of "Doc" Simmons to perfection, the luckless wife being played by Ingrid Bergman.'' Chapter 2.  Quacks on Quackery