HC Deb 22 January 1913 vol 47 cc414-5

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been drawn to the case of Miss Emily Edwards; whether he is aware that after having been taken ill on 20th July, 1912, she was certified on 22nd July as suffering from chronic lead poisoning; that on 3rd August she was told at Guy's Hospital that she had lead colic, and on 7th August received a certificate to that effect from the head doctor; that subsequently she obtained a certificate of lead poisoning from the certifying surgeon for her district and from a fourth doctor, by whom she was reexamined for greater certainty, but the medical referee on appeal pronounced against her claim; will he state whether the medical referee was qualified to give an opinion as a specialist in cases of lead poisoning; and whether he has any evidence besides that of the referee himself that the referee made any but a cursory and inadequate examination of the case?


A representation was made to me in November last with regard to this case, which was generally to the effect stated in the question, and said that the girl and her mother complained that the referee had made only a perfunctory examination. I made inquiries of the referee, who informed me that he very carefully examined the girl, and his detailed report on the case was such as to corroborate this statement. The medical referees are men of high standing in their profession and very carefully selected, and I do not think that there was any negligence on the part of the referee in this case in carrying out his duties. The referee was appointed, not as a specialist, but as one of the general referees possessing good general medical qualifications.