May 25, 1909


Visitors and Empolyes Testify No
Cruelty Was Shown to Patients.
Records Back Up Their

Ten witnesses, most of them in rebuttal, were put on the stand yesterday by the defense, when the hearing before the joint council committee in the matter of the charges preferred against the management of the new general hospital was resumed in the lower house council chamber.

In explaining how she came to tell a Mrs. Dougherty that a woman friend of the latter was "sitting up and doing well," w hen the woman was really dead, Mrs. Myrtle Keene, telephoneoperator at the hospital, said: "When the call came in the woman did not speak plainly, and all I understood was 'Mc.' I looked on the chart and found but one Mc., a Mr. McVey. I asked if McVey was the name and she was that it was. I was informed by McVey's nurse that he was sitting up and doing nicely, and told the woman so.

"Later I learned that the woman was asking about Mrs. McKay, who had died the night before and whose card had been taken out of the chart at my side. It was purely a mistake and when the woman called up later and I tried to apologize she would not let me explain."

A copy of the hospital chart for the date in question was introduced in evidence to show that McVey was the only "Mc" on the list that day.

Peter Doran, referred to quite often as "Dad," said that he had not beaten a patient because the latter asked for a crust of bread, as charged by the promoters. He said he never struck a patient, and had never known of any such treatment. Doran said that F. A. Wolf, who made serious charges, had bade him a fond goodby when he left the hospital, and had volunteered to take along his hat and clean it for nothing, returning it two weeks later in person.

Dr. S. C. James said the hospital compared favorably with any of its kind in the country.

Dr. W. A. Shelton, police surgeon, told of his connection with the Charles Newell case. He said that Newell was taken to the emergency hospital soon after his injury and hurried out to general hospital as soon as it was seen that his case was serious. Although Dr. J. D. Griffith and Dr. J. Park Neal were in the operating room ready to attend Newell, Dr. Shelton said the injured policeman refused all aid and demanded to be removed to the German hospital, where he could be treated by Dr. J. S. Snyder. He died shortly after being moved.

Fred Bowen, an orderly, explained how a patient named Starr came to leave the hospital. Money was sewed up in his undershirt, and when Starr was informed that he would have to leave it in the office for safe keeping, he dressed and left the institution, Bowen said.

Rev. T. B. Marvin, an evangelist who has visited the hospital for the last sixteen years, and the Rev. J. C. Schindel of the English Lutheran church, told of their many visits there, and said they heard no complaints from the patients, although they had made close inquiry. Mr. Schindel told of a Mrs. Merkle, who had made charges. He said she had written him since, and stated that she had been asked to make the charges, which she now regretted. He promised to send her letter to the committee.

To impeach, if possible, the evidence of Arthur Slim, who testified that "a whole quart of raw acid was poured over my ulcerated leg," Fred Freeman, the ward orderly who dressed the leg, was placed on the stand. The treatment blank, showing what dressing and medicines were used, was placed in evidence. Nothing was used to burn.

Slim also swore that he was "thrown out of the hospital at 11 o'clock on a cold night, with no shoes." The records showed that he was discharged at 11:45 a. m., and R. E. Crockett, property clerk at the hospital, testified that Slim had come to him and complained that his shoes were full of holes. Crockett said he gave the man a new pair of hospital slippers, after he had stated that they would suffice until he reached his room. The discharge blank also showed that Slim was sent away from the hospital for violating rules and for being abusive and profane. The record is an old one and was made long before charges were even contemplated.

Ernest A. Baker testified that while he was dangerously ill with pneumonia his wife called up every hour for two whole nights, and each time was given his pulse, temperature and general condition.