KEW ASYLUM ADMINISTRATION.
EVIDENCE OF NURSES.
PROBATIONER EXTRACTS TEETH.
Chloroform for Blood Test
Nurses who gave, evidence at the Kew Asylum inquiry yesterday, said that they took no part in the agitation for the in- vestigation which is being made by Mr. A. A. Kelley, P.M., into allegations made by some of the attendants against the junior medical officer (Dr. R. S. Ellery), of maladministration and cruelty to pa- tients. It is unlikely that further evidence will be taken, and counsel's addresses will be given to-day.
Edward Hennessy, an attendant, said:- when I came to the asylum In January there was practically no discipline among the staff. Junior members simply ran the show. Since, there has been a steady improvement. It was really a case of the "tail trying to wag the dog."
To Mr. R. G. Menzies (for Dr. Ellery):-I have not seen any conduct that could be considered cruel. I was in charge of a cottage and have always been able to sat- isfy demands for clothing. Myers, an at- tendant, asked me to sign two petitions. Dr. Ellery had said that he was going to try to put the place into shipshape order and rearrange attendant's duties. The first petition was framed as a result of this, and I refused to sign it because I favoured the suggested improvements. Myers subse- quently asked me to sign a petition regard- ing cruelty to patients and maladministra- tion by Dr. Ellery. I refused to sign this also. Myers told me that he intended to prosecute the charges against Dr. Ellery to the end, even if it cost him his last shilling.
Jane Hammer, nurse, said-?I was pre- sent when the steel instrument demonstra- tion was given. So far as the woman pa- tient was concerned, it did not occur to me that the operation would cause vicious thoughts, nor do I think that it would.
Mr. Brennan (who appeared for the Hos- pital Employees' Association):-Have there been any meetings between the nurses and Dr. Ellery?-He informed me that I might be required as a witness.
Was there any priming as to the evidence that should be given? None.
In reply to Mr. K. G. Menzies, Conradi- onne Lohman, nurse, said:-Nurses who were sitting for examination asked Dr. El- lery if he would demonstrate the use of the steel instrument. There were no signs of pain from the patients during the de-
Mr. Brennan.-Soon after the operation one of the patients escaped.
Do you think that was the cause? I do
Some of the patients are fairly bright?- Oh yes, I saw one of them reading about the commission in a paper the other dav. (Laughter.)
When blood tests were being taken from women in the men's dormitory, were any of the boys looking on enjoying the fun?- I did not see any.
During a blood test, one of the patients was chloroformed?-Yes, because we could not get her blood.
That sounds gruesome! She struggled? -Yes. As we had no time to struggle, we
Mr. R. G. Menzies (who is assisting the Commissioner).-What is this examination leading up to? Is it suggested that Dr. Ellery did this from cruelty, or as an ex- periment?
Mr. Brennan.?Yes! The thing was done for absolutely improper and monstrous purposes. To struggle with a patient to take a blood test, and to use chloroform as an easy way out is monstrous. I can scarcely retain myself!
"1 am a nurse on probation," said Maud Gavegan, "and have extracted three or four teeth from patients. I had no diffi- culty whatever. The teeth just 'flicked out.' Dr. Ellery showed me how to use the forceps, of which, he had three pairs. He wiped them on a pad saturated with a disinfectant, which he carried in the palm of his left hand. Some of the patients ran up to Dr. Ellery, showing their teeth.- ?
Mr. K. G. Menzies.?What! in hos- tility?
Witness.-Oh, no, they wanted them drawn.
Questioned concerning a petition, wit- ness said:-McDuff, an attendant, asked me to sign a petition charging Dr. Ellery with cruelty, I refused. McDuff said, "Wait awhile, this fellow Ellery is riding tbe high horse, and we want to get rid of bim." I said, "I cannot sign because I cannot substantiate the charges." McDuff said that he wanted all the names, and not a few. He pressed me to sign, and when I refused he spoke to Nurses Murtagh and Jermyn. Murtagh said that I was a coward to turn on the staff, lt made me feel very miserable, and I found it better to stay in my room than to mix with other
nurses in the messroom.
Mr. Brennan.-Arc you a member of the Mental Hospital Employees' Association? Witness.--No, I am not.
Patient's Feeling for Doctor.
"Since Dr. Ellery came to the asylum," ¦aid Maud Martha Molloy, the matron, "it has been his ambition to improve the con- ditions of the attendants and the patients, the majority of whom are attached to him. When he is in the airing court they run to him and show him any little sores or hurts they have. I know of no cruelty on the port of Dr. Ellery-"
To Mr. Brennan witness said:-I have been at the asylum for 30 years. I have never seenl a medical officer demonstrate with a steel instrument or a forcible feeding tube, nor have I seen a doctor place a recalcitrant patient under chloroform to take a blood test. Dr. Ellery was always anxious to assist the nurses to pass their examinations, and worked very hard for
Is there not an element of danger even when the most highly skilled man adminis- tors an anesthetic?-Yes, that is so.
Is there anything that the doctor might do which you would question?-No, not in a professional way.
Would it make any difference if the doc- tor had had no practice since leaving the University?-None.
On the question of the alleged intermingl-
ing of men and women patients, witness said:-I received a report from Nurse Fraser that a girl had been out of bounds and in the company of boys. Nurse Fraser had heard of it, from other girls. I was satis- fied that there was nothing in the allega-
tion that improper conduct had occurred, and sent the girl to the hospital for super- vision only. I most emphatically deny that I said to a nurse ,"lt is true right enough" (meaning the alleged misconduct).
To Mr. R. G. Menzies.-I have received no complaints from nurses of the behaviour of Dr. Ellery, and do not consider that the extraction of teeth on the airing court was wrong. Since the removal of the dividing fence sufficient precautions are provided for the segregation of the men and women pro- vided that the attendants exercise proper supervision. Certain of the girls are per- verts, but I do not consider that the use of an instrument would have any base effect upon them. Concerning the use of this in- strument accurate aad practical instruc- tion is necessary.
Riding the High Horse.
Eileen H. Hurley, nurse, said:-I refused to sign the charges against Dr Ellery as I could not substantiate them. When McDuff asked me to sign it he said, "We want to get rid of this Ellery fellow. He is riding the high horse."
George I. Gallachcr, attendant, said:? I believe that I have seen dirty trousers re- placed on patients, that I say there was no need for it. I have never been short of clothing.
"Although I signed the charges against Dr. Ellery," declared William Robert McCartney, attendant, "I did not know what I was signing."
Mr. Brennan.?Did you swear that you would never do airing court duty one day?
Witness.?Yes, I refused to do duty on the court because of the cold.
Were you thinking of yourself or the patients?-Of myself. The patients might
not have felt it so much.
The patients huddled together on that day? -They do that in the summer as
Do you consider that the patients should
be asked to tolerate those conditions ?- No.
Have you ever had to massage the hands of a patient because of the cold?-No. That's a new one on me. The day I was on it took me all my time rubbing my own! (Laughter.) .... .
To Mr. R. G. Menzies.-I am a member of the union. I believe that Dr, Ellery
pays more attention to the patients than any medical officer I have worked under.
Annie Corry, nurse, said:-When I,.was on night' duty, one of the women patients used filthy language and threatened me. I reported it to Dr. Ellery, who gave the patient an injection of apomorphine.
Mary Ann Harris, probationer, said :-I refused to sign the charges against Dr. Ellery,, as I could not substantiate them;
Mr. Brennan-That seems a very popu-
lar phrase! Did McDuff say anything about a "high horse?" Witness.-No.
Are you a member of the union?-Yes.
Recalled, Thomas J. Myers said:-I did not say that I had sufficient up my sleeve to send Ellery through the gate. It never was my desire to get rid of him. I wanted the patients treated properly, and that was the cause of my indignation. I did not refuse to shave patients.
Mr. P. G. Menzies.-That is imagination on the part of Ellis?
Witness.-It is a "frame up." It is malicious. The alleged threat to break into Eilis's store is ridiculous. My pro- motion was deferred because of my re- peated protests against Dr. Ellery's cruelty to patients. Rae told me that it was a matter between Dr. Ellery and myself.
The commission will resume at 10 o'clock this morning.