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Edmonton Infirmary (Lunacyorder)

Volume 161: debated on Wednesday 14 March 1923

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asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the three days' order, signed by a relieving officer for the committal of a Mrs. H. D. to the lunacy ward of Edmonton Infirmary on 8th November, 1921, has disappeared, and is said to have been cut out, from the guardians' book; that a doctor's statement given to this relieving officer, imputing insanity to the said lady, has in like manner mysteriously disappeared; that the lady was found to be suffering from concussion of the brain, due to a fall on the head; that when her son hurried to her, from a distance, and, finding her sane, applied for leave to take her home, assuming responsibility in accordance with Section 22 of the Lunacy Act, he was told he had no voice in the matter; that the lady was not seen by a magistrate at any time, and that the infirmary doctor only looked at her from the foot of her bed; that she was detained for 17 days in the company of lunatics and treated with indignity, classed undeservedly as a lunatic and then set free, and that, or, being questioned as to these proceedings, the board of control told the infirmary authorities to withhold all information; and, in view of the suspicion attaching to the disappearance of documents, which were admittedly in the keeping of the infirmary officials, will he institute an inquiry in order to discover the culprits, who may be supposed to have abstracted them to hide their delinquency, and also cause strict investigation to be made into the infringements of the Lunacy Act which secured the illegal committal and detention of a patient suffering from the usual symptoms of a prolonged state of unconsciousness, due to severe head injury?

I am asking the guardians for a report on this case, and when it is received I will communicate with the hon. Member.