16 Jan 2022

Doctor makes fatal mistake

March 14, 1914.

March 14, 1914.

Dr J. E. O’Sullivan’s fatal mistake in taking medicine from the wrong bottle was described at the inquest upon him at Liverpool on Saturday.

It was stated that he suffered from heart trouble, for which he occasionally took sal volatile, but he had never been known to take morphia.

Mrs O’Sullivan said she noticed a smell of opium about him, and said: “What have you taken?” He replied, “Sal volatile,” and she said, “I think I smell opium.” He then replied, “Oh, have I taken opium by mistake?” Mrs O’Sullivan telephoned for Dr Bailey and Sir James Barr, who made every effort to restore the doctor.

It was stated that it was quite possible that in a dazed condition Dr O’Sullivan had mistaken one bottle for the other. The bottles were kept close together and were similar in appearance.

The jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

* * *

Cinema a healthy recreation.

An amusing dialogue between Mr Justice Eve and counsel enlivened proceedings during the hearing of a motion for an injunction to restrain the Shoreditch Borough Council from letting, and Mr F. Wright, who keeps a public house, from using, the Hoxton Public Baths for the purpose of cinema entertainment.

The case rested upon the question whether the use of the baths in that way was legitimate as affording “healthful recreation”.

Mr Maughan, KC. said a picture show did not afford “healthful exercise”.

His Lordship: I think that depends on the individual. Some people think they are getting heartful recreation when they go the British Museum. To others that would be an infernal bore... A good laugh may be healthful recreation. I know no better tonic. I have never seen one yet, but there may be a film which would cause you to enjoy a good laugh. That might be recreation which could be called healthful. He dismissed the motion, as entertainment was a wholesome recreation.

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