HC Deb 18 February 1895 vol 30 cc939-40
MR. C. H. HOPWOOD (Lancashire, S.E., Middleton)

I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland regarding the death of Christina Thomson, on New Year's Day, at 110, Port Dundas Street, Glasgow, after vaccination or re-vaccination in prison about 12 days before, while she was suffering from inflammation of the lungs of some months' standing; what precaution is or will be taken to examine the prisoner beforehand, so as to avoid operating upon a diseased prisoner; is it the rule of the prisons that persons imprisoned for the short period of a month, or less, should be vaccinated or re-vaccinated; and, will he specify the Law relating to Scotland which authorises the compulsory re-vaccination of anyone in prison or elsewhere?


Christina Thomson, when admitted into the prison of Glasgow on 13th December, 1894, with a sentence of seven days' imprisonment, was examined by the Acting Medical Officer, who found her heart and lungs to be sound and her general health good. It is not the rule of the Scottish Prison Service that persons imprisoned for the short period of a month, or less, should be vaccinated or re-vaccinated; but during the late outbreak of Smallpox in Glasgow the Prison Medical Officer, on the request of the Medical Officer of Health, was authorised to vaccinate prisoners coming to the prison from infected districts of the city and prisoners who did not bear evidence of having been successfully vaccinated; but in every case the full consent of the prisoner was to be obtained. Christina Thomson was vaccinated on the afternoon of the day of her admission, with calf lymph, after her consent had been asked and obtained. Her vaccination was quite successful, and up to her discharge on the 20th December her health continued good and she took all her food. A post-mortem examination was made, by order of the Procurator Fiscal, under warrant from the Sheriff, two days after the death, when it was ascertained that she died from effusion into the pericardium, and not from vaccination. In answer to the last paragraph of the question, there is no Statute in Scotland compelling re-vaccination.