HC Deb 25 July 1944 vol 402 cc566-7
14. Mr. Viant

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is now in a position to give the results of his inquiries into the case where Private Butler, attached to the A Company of the R.A.M.C. was, at the command of the medical officer, Major Carson, and the aid of four men, forcibly vaccinated against his wish and contrary to the King's Regulations.

Sir J. Grigg

Yes, Sir, I have received a report about this case. It is clear that the man was vaccinated in spite of his protests that he did not wish to be vaccinated. His left wrist was held by one man and his right elbow by another. No other men were concerned. I understand that the man had no conscientious objection to vaccination but refused because, on a previous occasion, he had suffered from a sore arm and because, in his view, the vaccinations and inoculations he had received in the Army had done him no good. The officer concerned clearly had no right to use force as he did and in normal circumstances disciplinary action would no doubt have been taken against him. But this vaccination was carried out in the Anzio bridgehead. Reinforcements were arriving from Naples, where there was an outbreak of virulent smallpox and the possibility of an outbreak in the bridgehead was causing great anxiety. In these exceptional circumstances the officer's action has been considered as an error of judgment committed in good faith with the intention to safeguard the health of the troops in a dangerous medical situation. I do not, therefore, intend to take any disciplinary action against him.

Mr. Douglas

What reparation is to be made to this man for the assault committed on him?

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