§ MR. CHARLES H. HOPWOOD (Lancaster, S.E., Middleton)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been drawn to the case of Rose Hannah Loach, of 86, Park Street, Oldbury, who recently entered the Oldbury Smallpox Hospital, Portway Road, with her child Martha, aged five months, who was suffering from confluent smallpox; whether he is aware that Mrs. Loach, having never been vaccinated or had smallpox, resisted the importunities of the Sanitary Inspector and medical man at the hospital, who urged her to be vaccinated, stating that she had seen her husband and children take smallpox after vaccination; and that Mrs. Loach was discharged from the hospital on the death of her infant, after close association with the worst forms of smallpox, unvaccinated and free from smallpox; and, whether it is the duty of officials at smallpox hospitals to put such pressure on persons who may object to vaccination as useless and dangerous?
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Sir WALTER FOSTER, Derby, Ilkeston)
I am informed that the child referred to, who was about four months old, was suffering from smallpox in a small house where arrangements for isolation were impracticable, and where three cases of smallpox had previously occurred. The mother refused to allow the child to be sent to the Smallpox Hospital unless she was received in the hospital with the child. The Sanitary Inspector endeavoured to persuade her to be vaccinated before being taken to the hospital, but she refused, and the mother with her child was then admitted to the hospital. She was, it is stated, provided with a cottage which was some distance from the main buildings where the chief of the cases were. The utmost was done to prevent her from mixing with the other cases in the hospital, and after the death of the 1040 child, the mother, after a bath and her clothing having been properly disinfected, returned to her home. I see no ground for thinking that the officers did more than it was their duty to do in the case.