HC Deb 21 June 1888 vol 327 c792
MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he will inquire into the truth of the following allegation against the authorities of the Victoria Park Hospital for Consumption:— That on the 23rd of April last a young man named Cornish died in the hospital, having been an in-patient for five days only. That Mr. John Cornish, of Mount Street, Bethnal Green, the father of the deceased, was unable to get the body; and, having been informed that it was to be opened, said that he would not allow it; that the Rev. Robert Loveridge, Vicar of St. Philip's, Bethnal Green, who accompanied Mr. Cornish, also warned the authorities not to touch the body; and that, notwithstanding these notices of objection, the body was dissected; whether, if these facts are true, an offence against the Criminal Law has been committed; and, if so, whether he will cause proceedings to be taken against the parties accused?


I have inquired into this matter, and am informed by the authorities of the Hospital that it is not the fact that the father was unable to get the body. It was given to him at the customary time, on the day of the death. He expressed no objection to a post-mortem examination, inasmuch as he did not come to the Hospital until after the examination had necessarily taken place. Mr. Loveridge did not accompany Mr. Cornish, neither did he warn the authorities not to touch the body. The so-called dissection of the body was nothing else than the usual post-mortem examination, which was made in consequence of the sudden death of the patient and other unaccountable features of his case. I am unable to discover that the authorities have rendered themselves amenable to the Criminal Law.