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TO THE EDITOR. Sir,—Your leader of yesterday on the sad and fatal case of poisoning, which recently occurred m Wellington, is one that is calculated to needlessly alarm the public, and perhaps, as you state " there may have been extenuating circumstances with which you are not familiar," you will be good enough to allow me to supply them. My informant, I might add, is a well-known chemist who was on the spot at the time. Mr Fitzgerald, the chemist, who dispensed the fatal dose, has been, for many years m business m Wellington,; from which place he went to England; previously disposing of his business, and returning with the intention of recommencing. To save time he brought with him a bottle of solution of strychnine—a ' medicine m frequent use, but one that is never imported, but always made as required, for it only consists of a few grains of strychnine m a large quantity of water. It is alleged that a former assistant filled | the shop bottle wliich should have contained morphia from this bottle containing the strychnine—both liquids being the same m appearance, viz., colorless. I think Mr Fitzgerald is deserving of synv pathy rather than censure for the misfortune, and as nothing was proven to connect the assistant with the error he could hardly have been censured either, A case of this kind is one wholly out of the common, and could not be likely to recur. In all well regulated establishments poisons are not kept on shelves aniong other bottles as the public may think, bHtyas a safeguard, they are

placed by themselves m a " poison cupboard," under lock and key. Therefore to accidentally poison a patient by haphazardly picking up the wrong bottle is a thing well nigh impossible with a careful dispenser. Sir George Grey's measure to attempt to enforce prescriptions being written m plain English is open to serious objections, which I need not here explain. Chemists are naturally jealous of their professional reputations, and only last week nineteen of our number signed a petition protesting against the action of the Christchurch Hospital Board m appointing m dispenser to that institution a youth who had not completed his apprenticeship or passed any examination. Fearing 1 have alrendy treßpaased too much on your space.—l am, etc., J. M. Cambridge.

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Bibliographic details

THE WELLINGTON POISONING CASE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2467, 17 July 1890

Word Count

THE WELLINGTON POISONING CASE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2467, 17 July 1890

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