Generosity of a Coroner's Jury
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Patronage, Crime, Imposture
Discusses a report in The Times of an inquest into the death of a child whose treatment had been delayed by the doctor, Henry Buss, who had to persuade the child's father to sign an agreement to pay a fee. Understands why the jury felt strongly that the doctor appeared to be putting his remuneration before the child's health, but points out that the jury overlooked the fact that the doctor wanted to 'guard against imposition' or the possibility that the family would obtain his services free. Reports that the judge noted precedents for the doctor's decision, but the jury censured the doctor. However, Punch points out that had the jury understood the cause of the child's death—serum on the brain—they would have known that the doctor could not have saved the child. Also urges that the jury should have understood the pecuniary circumstances of some medical men, circumstances that force them to be careful.
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