WITNESSES DENY STORIES ATTRIBUTED TO PATIENTS. ~ Evidence Introduced to Refute Charges Against Management of General Hospital.

May 5, 1909

Evidence Introduced to Refute
Charges Against Management
of General Hospital.

Six witnesses were heard for the defense in the general hospital investigation yesterday. The hearing was then adjourned until Saturday at 2:30 p. m., wh en the committee will meet at the city hall. The last two sessions, for convenience of nurses and doctors, were held at the new general hospital.

Miss Catherine May, a former nurse in the hospital, was the first witness. John A. Johnson, Mrs. Violet Hutchins, Miss Josie Pomfret and "Sig Frisco" were patients there, and she attended each of them. As to Johnson, whom she nursed at the old hospital, she said he was not allowed to lie on a damp, cold bed, never did lie on the floor all night and was never strapped to a chair while nude and left in the cold as is charged.

Miss May then told of having received Mrs. Hutchins into the hospital and of the patient having assaulted her while refusing to take a bath. She also told of the patient's threats toward her baby and of having heard her say: "I'll get this hospital in trouble. I'm a good talker in court all right." As to the Miss Pomfret charges Miss May said the young woman demanded a private room and refused to give up her personal property as required.

Regarding Frisco, who swore that he lay all night and a day with no attention from a doctor or nurse, Miss May told of giving him an alcohol rub, placing hot water bottles about him and giving medicine to ease him, after which Frisco said he was "very comfortable."

Mrs. Kate E. Pierson, connected with the Associated Charities and a member of the tenement and pardons and paroles boards, told of sending many patients to the hospital, and of visiting them afterwards. She never heard but one complaint, that of a father regarding food given his daughter.

"I happened in the hospital at meal time a few days later," the witness said, "and the food the girl got was well cooked and good enough for anyone."

In the matter of a charge alleged to have been made by Dr. C. B. Irwin, investigator for the tenement commission, against the treatment of tuberculosis patients at the hospital, Mrs. Pierson said the report was a verbal one made to the board, and that Dr. Irwin had no authority to make such investigation, as the commission has no jurisdiction over the hospital.

Dr. B. H. Zwart, coroner, was placed on the stand to tell of an autopsy which he held on the body of Harry Roberts to determine the cause of death. After the post-mortem it was discovered that Roberts had died of Banta's disease, a rare ailment.