HC Deb 01 April 1884 vol 286 cc1266-8

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is a fact that the Inspector of Anatomy for Cork resides in Dublin, and if, such being the case, he can efficiently discharge the duties of superintendence required by the third section of the Anatomy Act; whether the Board of Governors of the Cork District Lunatic Asylum are the proper custodians of the unclaimed bodies of deceased inmates of that institution; whether, such being the case, their permission is necessary, before removing their bodies to the dissecting room of the Queen's College, Cork, and if there is any distinction between the post mortem examination stated to be allowable in such cases, and the process of dissection admitted to be practised at present; and, are students in Cork Queen's College charged dissecting fees when it is admitted that bodies are supplied to the College free of charge?


Sir, the Inspector of Anatomy for Minister is allowed to reside in Dublin. He is required to keep an office in, Cork, and the arrangement is open to review should inconvenience arise. The other three Provinces of Ireland are under one Inspector, who also resides in Dublin. Before the arrangement as to the Munster Inspector was sanctioned, it was ascertained that there is but one Inspector for all Scotland, and there are two for England, both of whom reside in London. It is, therefore, clear that in no part of the country is continuous residence on the spot considered necessary for the discharge of the duties of these officers. I stated, in reply to a former Question, all that I feel myself called upon to say with regard to the powers and duties of the governors of lunatic asylums in this matter. I pointed out that the law does not require the publication of details as to dissections; and, in the interests of humanity and of medical science, any attempt to force publicity is greatly to be deprecated. With regard to the last paragraph of the Question, I think it must be perfectly clear to anyone that no School of Anatomy could be carried on without incidental expenses, and I am sure that there is no such school in the country which students can attend without paying fees. If any of the students at Cork think that any improper charge is made in their case they should address the College authorities. I am informed that nearly 150 students of Queen's College, Cork, presented an address to the Professor of Anatomy on Friday last, stating that they heard with regret that action had been taken to make the class regulations in anatomy and physiology the subject of Questions in Parliament, and so tend to create an erroneous impression in the public mind regarding the relations subsisting between the Professor and students in these departments. These relations, they say, have always been of the most cordial character, and any representation of them as otherwise must incur their unqualified repudiation. I am informed by high medical authority in Dublin that if these Questions are continued a feeling may be aroused among ignorant people which would render it impossible to carry on anatomical studies at Cork, and, perhaps, in any Other part of Ireland.


I beg to give Notice that after the right hon. Gentleman has needlessly read out the address presented to this Professor by the students—["Order, order !"]—I will expose on a future day the process of intimidation—[Lord cries of "Order, order!"]—I am perfectly in Order. I always am in Order—I will expose on a future day the process of intimidation by which this address was obtained.