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KEW ASYLUM ADMINISTRATION,
NURSES GIVE EVIDENCE.
..LIQUOR IN WARDS. *'> . Patients Bathed in Open.
Silting: asrn. Royal commission. Mr. _X. -A. -Kelley,- I'.M., .continued at the Kew Asylum yesterday .:,his Inquiry into alle- gations, of .mnladininistrntion.at the asylum, ami . cruelty to~ patients by lite junior mwlical officer '(Dr'.'.R." SJ Ellery). The assistant' Crown solicitor (Mr. F. Ci; Menzies) appeared to assist the comrhis .sioner,- and Mr.. K. .Brennan appeared in the. interests of tlic -Mental Hospital Em ployees' .'Assbcialion of ^Victoria, through which'tlic charged were niadc'. J)r. Ellery was represented by Mr. lt. G. Menzies.
Jn""reply'to Mtv 3i. ;0. Menzies, Nurse Burke",:.wlio continued her evidence, Baid:? Cruelty-"was involved iri .the treatment of patients'in thc use of ali instrument, hypo- dermic/injections." an'd,-!the extraction of teetlwwithout anassthetic-or:antiseptic. At .the'.time of, ¦the. operations '. 1 had not thought .it was cruel, but upon reflection*! camc'to'th'o'cdncluslon'that it had been.
J. Mr.. Jl.» .G...."'Mcnzies.-^You could have l'embnsti-atriwith' Dr. Ellery at'hi's, treat- ment of. thc patients ?
".^Vitncss.?Yes,' bttt.-jt.Jwas not .my duty
VAIthbugb-a den tal; officer, lias been ap- pointed,'have you ever seen him at the institution??Xever. ¦ ' .
To Mr. Brennan.?If, Dr. Ellery used a sterilising-pad when . extracting teeth, 1 did not sec'tt.... ' " ,
Mr; Brennan*?lt. was used secretively, if af all. ;-¦?....? ? ' -.,;
Mr. KelJcy.?You have no right to say Unit. ..'¦'¦?¦
...VTo Mr. F. G. Mcnzies.-r-When complaints of soreness were made to you 'by'paticnts did-you. report it?
Witness. ? No, 1 did not think that was necessary. -.?-.-..
. Do you complain about anyone but Dr. Ellery??Ko. ...... i Jn connection with, thc injection on a patient,, did you mako any report as to the after, effects??Xo. Jt was given- as a punishment, not as a sedative. '
. Mr. Kelley.-r^Why;has: the. question of liquor being.brought into the'wards been avoided?-." ¦'... . '...'? ;'.''-?'
", Mr. Brennan.?11_'was not' avoided.' ?'.]
am. quite ready.'-tb" give evidence on the question
Mr. Kelley.?1 require ii.
Mr.- F.-.G.. Menzies .(to,'
-.-- -.? (to-witness).?What
do you-know-of the introduction of liquor
into the institution? ;--.?
Witness.?Dr. Ellery: brought two'bottles of ale into myawards. ¦'¦¦ ??,¦??¦ ... Was the vliquor drunk??Yes. ' .
How much: did you have??Half a. glass full. N'urse .Roper,-who has'since gone to -Mont Park, and Div Ellery also liad some.
Do you know anything about the re- lation of indecent stories?Vl 'heard 'Dr. Ellery telling some'.tb Nurse Hoper. . -
.You committed'a broachfof. the regula- tions by drinking liquor ??Yes. ?
'I'o Mr. Kelley.?1.'did not, see' liquor brought on tn the premises by anyone else,
ilr. H. G. Mcnztes.if-Db you,like beer? Witness.?1 .do not dislike it. . ' . ,.'
ls-this the only occasion,.on which you have hud drink in «tuc' asylum ??Xever while on duty before. : ' . .- . .;, . Have you ever had it off duty??Once or twice. ' j :¦¦' '.:'-.,'. ' '? . .-¦' ?<
Dr. Ellery brought liquor into the ward only once??Yes. v; - When??About six months ago.
ll was.a red letter day when the"dpctor brought you beer. Surely' you remember the date??Xot exactly. .,.'.
Have you gone out to see Nurse Roper
You. discussed the charges??No.-.'<?
. Did you ask her if she would givc;evi
dence??Xo: 1 did not:
To Mr. Kelley.?At Christmas time 1 brought in a bottle of lieeiv which Nurse Hoper, other nurses, and 1 consumed.
Mary Laity, ntirse, examined by Mr. Brennan concerning tile extraction of teeth', gave evidence generally corrobora "ve of previous evidence.
To Mr. lt. G. Menzies, she said.?I do not know that in thc period in question the nurses whom I said were in the airing
?ourt were on duty together only twice, ind that on those occasions 1 was not on day duty with them, lt would be lin utter falsehood to suggest that J was off duty when the extractions were being made.
Injections as Punishment.
To Mr. Kelley.?1 did not see any of thc nurses attempting to extract teeth.
Heferring to hypodermic injections, Catharine Hoddy, nurse, said.?1 saw Dr. Ellery use the syringe on a patient for lind behaviour. She vomited for a con- siderable time, and complained of pains in the abdomen. Later in the afternoon the patient still complained of feeling ill, .Ind 1 told her that she had received thc injection because she had been naughty. She promised to be good in future. Another patient who had been quarrelsome was given an injection on the playground, us a result bf a complaint 1 made to Dr. Ellery. -Thc patient was very sick, and would cat no dinner because she was in pain. These were the only occasions on 'which 1 saw the injections given.
To Mr. K. G. Menzies.?lt is usual, to tell these children that they arc given m'edi cine because they have been naughty. They ure not afraid of the needle, and have less dread of it than of "whitehouse" or castor oil.
-.. Mr. K. G. Meuzies.?Did the injections have'a sedative effect? ,
Witness.?Yes.' . _. . The patient* had been violent??Yes.
Before the injection was the arm pre- pared ??No.
Did you consider preparation necessary?
On the question of overcrowding witness said?Before thc last inquiry three new patients were sent to my ward by Dr. Ellery.' There were no vacant beds, and tiley were placed on the Door. The ward will accommodate 28. and the three new admissions brought the total to 33. Two of the patients are still there, and one of them has since died. When 1 left thc ward a month ago there were 48 patients
Concerning the alleged intermingling of male' and female patients; Jane. Kelly, nut-He, suid ' that a fence, which divided the males and females, had been removed.
Mr. Brennan.?Ab a result ot something you heard what did you do?
Witness.?1 reported to the matron, and later a female patient was Bent to thc female hospital. .
Mr. Kelley.?Did you sec any of thc male patients in the female enclosure?
Slr. F. G. Menzies.?Do you suggest that some of thc female patients cross to the male side at night??They may, although to my knowledge they have not done so. Some of the patients can pick a lock which is on the other side with a button-hook.
Addressing Mr. Kelley, Mr. Brennan sug- gested that evidence should bc taken from patients at the asylum, as it might be lucid and reliable. Dr. Jones, who .was an expert in lunacy, had always admitted
Mr. Kelley.? 1 do not,think it necessary at present to examine patients.
"Children Crying with Cold."
John Inkster, attendant, speaking of thc patients generally, said?In Dr. Ellery's time the position us to clothing has been satisfactory; but 1 have seen patients all day in.diryt clothes, because there was no clean changes. In midwinter thc patients were forced to huddle together to warm themselves in a hall, from which the win- dows had been broken, in which there were no scats. Since Dr. Ellery's coming there has been some diminution, in the stench from the hall. Fire-places should be fitted and glass put in the windows.
Mr. Brennan.?Do you know anything about bulbing patients? ?
Witness. ? Two months ago 1 saw ...jtients, some without clothing and others wrapped "in blankets, being carried from their, beds and bathed in the open in the cold of a .winter evening. .
ls that practice continued? ? Xo, thc bathroom has since been equipped.
There is a bathroom??Yes, but it is 75 or 100 yunis from the cottage. A new bath- room has been fitted up behind thc cot- tage since. '
? To Mr. Kelley.?The children bo bathi a were crying with the cold.
To Mr. Brennan.?As the result of- the lise upon.a patient of a steel instrument lits bed clothes were stained with blood. Other patients also complained of bleed
To Mr. R. G. Menzies.?Witness admitted that the cripples were bathed in the open because the bathroom was under, repair. Since Dr. Ellery had arrived there had been a great improvement in the supply of clothing. ' ¦ . '
.Rosco Hojier. an attendant, said?1 con- sider that bathing patients in thc open was cruel. The children could have been saved the unnecessary exposure, or could have been bathed at more suitable times of the day. 1 complained to the .head attendant Kite about tho practice, and on being left solely in charge. Two of thc patients Were,
suffering from mumps ut the time. Some tl of them were crying with cold, and others w
being crippled could do nothing to keep themselves warm. In the drill hall some of the patients were obliged on very cold nights to sit about in wet and dirty
The inquiry was adjourned till to-day.