The Ashburton Guardian. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1880. Yesterday’s Inquest.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 5 p.m.]
There are those, doubtless, who, after reading the evidence given at the inquest held yesterday at Tinwald, will ask what on earth all the fuss was about, and what an inquest was held for at all. To this question there is a very sufficient answer. Rumors were afloat in the township of a kind that, had they any foundation in fact, would have been exceedingly injurious to the professional reputation of one of our local medical men, and would have placed him in the still worse position of a man guilty of manslaughter. With a view to elicit the facts this inquest has been held, and the result is one that, after all, was only to be expected by those who know the medical men practising in this district. The evidence showed that Dr. Stewart had not been in any way careless of his patient, but had been particularly attentive to him ; that he knew thoroughly what was the nature of the wound, and how to treat it; thatthe treatment he gave the wound was thoroughly in accord with recognised surgical practice ; and the man having died was not due to any want of care, skill, or knowledge on his part. How suspicions of the doctor’s treatment of the patient arose, or with whom they originated, or even by whom they were entertained, are questions that were not gone into at the inquest, and there was perhaps no necessity that they should have. But the result is a perfectly satisfactory one, as it disabuses the public mind of any suspicion whatever that a fellow-colonist was made a martyr to any incapacity on the part of a medical man in the district,
and clears the latter of any possible blame that might otherwise, in the absence of a public enquiry, have lain upon him in the minds of some. The inquest has certainly failed to show that Dr. Stewart departed in the least from the surgical treatment recognised in such cases as the one for which he was called in, and over which this inquest has been held. He has therefore come out of the inquest with a perfectly clean and uninjured reputation; and to do this when a doubt, however raised, lay in the public mind, the inquest was certainly called for, as it is of the first importance that a gentleman like a medical man, holding frequently the lives of human beings in his hands, should possess the utmost confidence of those who may call him to a sickbed.
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