HC Deb 29 June 1905 vol 148 cc526-7

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that on or about June 20th, 1904, the medical officer of the Cootehill Union, county Cavan, performed an operation on a patient called Fitzpatrick in the fever hospital, after a local doctor who usually assists at all such operations refused to administer ether because of the low condition of the patient; whether he is aware that the medical officer of the workhouse then called in a doctor from outside the Cootehill district, performed the operation, and the patient died a few hours after; whether the Local Government Board was informed of the facts and the cause of death in this case; and whether there was an inquest held or a sworn inquiry ordered.

(Answered by Mr. Walter Long.) The Local Government Board are informed by the clerk of the union that the facts are substantially as stated. The local doctor referred to did not, however, refuse to administer ether, but asked to be excused as he was not in good health. The patient died en the day following the operation. No complaint was made to the Board, and no inquest or sworn inquiry was held. The medical officer who performed the operation has the reputation of being a most careful and competent surgeon, and the Board see no reason to presume that there were any circumstances connected with the patient's death which require investigation.