Author Topic: Calling a doctor to a suicide 1942  (Read 718 times)

Offline Claire64

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 430
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Calling a doctor to a suicide 1942
« on: Saturday 24 October 20 20:35 BST (UK) »
This is intriguing me.  An elderly lady committed suicide in 1942 (during the War) at her home at Halstead Green, Heptonstall, near Hebden Bridge.  "The Coroner told the womanís daughter that she ought not to have called Dr. F. J. Dowdall from Hebden Bridge to see the body.  Doctors are already overworked, and to call him to Halstead Green was a waste of his precious time and a waste of the countryís precious petrol."

I thought that a doctor would always have had to be called to a suspicious death.  Was this not the case?  This seems to be a very harsh attitude to a grieving daughter.  I believe the two places weren't that far apart, and I am presuming she called the nearest doctor.
Pearson (Bradwell Dby & Stocksbridge)
Donkersley
Crawshaw (Bradfield)
Evans (Bradwell Dby and Stocksbridge)
Crossley (Penistone)
Rogers (Nottinghamshire & Stocksbridge)
Bramall (Bradfield/Wadsley)
Walton (Hunshelf)

Offline Kiltpin

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 690
  • Stand and be Counted
    • View Profile
Re: Calling a doctor to a suicide 1942
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 24 October 20 21:55 BST (UK) »
I think that the Coroner was being "wise after the event". Someone would have to be called, either the doctor or the police and petrol would have to have been used. 

Regards 

Chas
Whannell - Eaton - Jackson
India - Scotland - Australia

Offline Colin Cruddace

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,557
  • Looking for GG Grandad... Must have GSH
    • View Profile
Re: Calling a doctor to a suicide 1942
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 24 October 20 23:25 BST (UK) »
I love this type of problem solving, so here is my thinking.
A doctor was not required at the time of death, his job was to attend the living. Local Bobbies were either on the beat or on bikes, so they should have been called and the case would eventually land with the Coroner.

It's a pity the (newspaper?) report didn't include what she should have done.



Offline Kiltpin

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 690
  • Stand and be Counted
    • View Profile
Re: Calling a doctor to a suicide 1942
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 25 October 20 00:04 BST (UK) »
A doctor would have been involved at some point as the police cannot certify death.  Unless there was a detached head, the daughter might have believed that her mother might yet have been saved. 

The woman has just lost her mother. A bollocking, in public, from the Coroner is just the thing she needed to buck her up!

Regards 

Chas
Whannell - Eaton - Jackson
India - Scotland - Australia

Online AntonyMMM

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 823
  • Researcher and former Deputy Registrar
    • View Profile
Re: Calling a doctor to a suicide 1942
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 25 October 20 12:22 GMT (UK) »
Sounds a little harsh, but it was during wartime.

Doctors don't investigate suspicious deaths - that is the role of the police & coroner ( who will instruct a pathologist to examine the body either in situ or later).

But at every death police are called to they will call out a doctor to "pronounce life extinct" - even if the body is in pieces, it is still a requirement. It would normally be the police doctor on call, but if the family had already called the GP, then there is no reason why that wouldn't be acceptable.

Offline Ray T

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,155
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Calling a doctor to a suicide 1942
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 25 October 20 12:54 GMT (UK) »
The woman who called the doctor would have been paying the bill (pre. NHS) so isnít it down to her to decide?

Offline River Tyne Lass

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,651
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Calling a doctor to a suicide 1942
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 25 October 20 13:33 GMT (UK) »
This was likely true that the doctors were overworked but I think that Coroner was grossly insensitive to the poor daughter. 
Conroy, Fitzpatrick, Watson, Miller, Davis/Davies, Brown, Senior, Dodds, Grieveson, Gamesby, Simpson, Rose, Gilboy, Malloy, Dalton, Young, Saint, Anderson, Allen, McKetterick, McCabe, Drummond, Parkinson, Armstrong, McCarroll, Innes, Marshall, Atkinson, Glendinning, Fenwick, Bonner

Offline janan

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,083
    • View Profile
Re: Calling a doctor to a suicide 1942
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 25 October 20 13:44 GMT (UK) »
Suicide was a crime in England until 1961, which may explain, but certainly not excuse, the coroner's harsh and insensitive attitude.
ALL CENSUS DATA INCLUDED IN POSTINGS IS CROWN COPYRIGHT, FROM  www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

bedfordshire - farr, carver,handley, godfrey, newell, bird, emmerton, underwood,ancell
buckinghamshire- pain
cambridgeshire- bird, carver
hertfordshire- conisbee, bean, saunders, quick,godfrey
derbyshire- allsop, noon
devon - griffin, love, rapsey
dorset- rendall, gale
somerset- rendall, churchill
surrey/middlesex - douglas, conisbee, childs, lyon groombridge

Offline Claire64

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 430
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Calling a doctor to a suicide 1942
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 25 October 20 13:50 GMT (UK) »
Thank you for your thoughts on this.  I am not sure who I'd call if I were in that situation. 
Pearson (Bradwell Dby & Stocksbridge)
Donkersley
Crawshaw (Bradfield)
Evans (Bradwell Dby and Stocksbridge)
Crossley (Penistone)
Rogers (Nottinghamshire & Stocksbridge)
Bramall (Bradfield/Wadsley)
Walton (Hunshelf)