HC Deb 07 December 1927 vol 211 cc1391-2W

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that Dr. Pearson, medical officer to the Buckingham institution and public vaccinator for the Leckhampstead district of the Buckingham Union, called on Mrs. Rodwell, of Chackmore, on Tuesday, 20th September, and demanded that her five children, whose ages ranged from 19 years to eight years, and who had been exempted by their father from vaccination, should be. vaccinated, on account of two cases of small-pox that had been found at the Buckingham institution, situated a mile and a-half away from Mrs. Rodwell's home; that Mrs. Rodwell told Dr. Pearson that the children would not be vaccinated on account of her husband's strong objection to the operation, the father being at the time kept in isolation at the institution; that Dr. Pearson threatened to have the post office, kept by Mrs. Rodwell, closed if she and the children were not vaccinated, and also to stop the boys from working unless they ageed to be vaccinated; that Mrs. Rodwell gave way and had herself and the children vaccinated in the unwarranted belief that Dr. Pearson had power to close the post office; whether he will point out to Dr. Pearson that in his capacity of public vaccinator his duty consists in offering to; vaccinate children who are neither exempted nor vaccinated, and that he has no right to threaten objectors to the operation; and what fee Dr. Pearson received for the vaccination of Mr. Rodwell's's children and Mrs. Rodwell?


I have made inquiries in regard to this matter, and am informed that the following are the facts: Dr. Pearson called on Mrs. Rodwell and offered to vaccinate her and her children because they had been in contact with her husband who was employed at the Poor Law Institution where cases of small-pox had occurred. An elder daughter, who had returned to the house for the purpose, expressed willingness to be vaccinated. Mrs. Rodwell at first demurred to the vaccination of herself and a younger child, and Dr. Pearson suggested that she should telephone to the institution and obtain Mr. Rodwell's permission. This she declined to do, but, on being informed by Dr. Pearson that her husband was being vaccinated, she consented to the vaccination of herself and the youngest child. Three other members of the family went to Dr. Pearson's surgery and were vaccinated. Dr. Pearson was not informed that declarations of conscientious objection had been made in respect of the children. He told Mrs. Rodwell that, having regard to the fact that she kept a post office, she should be vaccinated, as otherwise he felt it would be his duty to inform the authorities, but he denies having used any threats. There does not appear, therefore, to be any reason for taking the action suggested by the hon. Member. The doctor's fee for which the guardians are liable for the vaccination of Mrs. Rodwell and her children amounts to twenty-two shillings.