HC Deb 30 July 1888 vol 329 c734
MR. FRASER-MACKINTOSH (Inverness-shire)

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether there are any instructions regulating the duties and responsibilities of the medical officers of the Royal Marine Light Infantry; whether, during last winter, the surgeons at Eastney Barracks, Portsmouth, were aware that Comyn MacGregor, one of the probationary lieutenants under their charge, was suffering from a disease as a rule proving fatal unless timeously dealt with; whether the surgeons took any steps, directly, or indirectly, to inform Lieutenant MacGregor that it was obvious he was labouring under an insidious disease, and to warn him of his danger; whether Lieutenant MacGregor's health afterwards suddenly gave way, and, failing in consequence to pass his final examination, he has been dismissed from the Service; and, whether, if it is to be understood that it is no part of a surgeon's duty to speak until consulted, the time has come for laying down more humane Rules?


There are full instructions for the guidance of the medical officers of the Royal Marine Light Infantry. The medical officers at Eastney Barracks deny any knowledge of Mr. MacGregor's suffering from the disease referred to, and it appears that he himself never took any steps to inform them. The medical officers would certainly not wait to be consulted if they had any reason to believe that any officer or man under their care was suffering from disease. This is enjoined by the Regulations. It is the case that Mr. MacGregor had to leave the Service from failure to pass his examination.


Are those instructions to the medical officers open to the public?


They are the instructions which are generally issued to medical officers of the Service, and I am not aware if they have ever been published. I am not aware that there would be any advantage in publishing them.