Childbirth Court Case — Saunders Vs Dr Downing



January 1900 Carleton Place Herald–
Found by Josh Greer- and property of Lisa Occomore and Brad Occomore of Valley Granite and Tile

Without calling upon Mr. G. F. Henderson, K.C., counsel for the defence, to produce argument, Mr, Justice Wright sitting in the Ontario Supreme Court at Ottawa on
Wednesday dismissed without costs the action brought by Mr. M. A. Saunders, who was  a resident of Carleton Place, against Dr. A. Downing, physician, of the same town, for damages -amounting to ‘$10,000, for the death of his wife on December 28th, 1923, which he alleged was due to malpractice on the part of the physician.

Mr. Saunders, through a number of witnesses, medical and lay, sought to prove that Dr. Downing who as the family physician, had been called upon to attend Mrs. Saunders, upon her confinement, had not properly attended upon her with the result that she had died the same day as the birth of her child from an excessive hemorrhage. Downing was also accused that has conduct had been unprofessional in that he had used offensive language towards the sick woman and members of the family assembled at her bedside. Hard to believe, but in those days words came out easy with no thoughts in the heat of the moment.



January 1900 Carleton Place Herald–
Found by Josh Greer- and property of Lisa Occomore and Brad Occomore of Valley Granite and Tile

Mr. G. F. Henderson, K. C., for the defence submitted medical testimony from Dr. Campbell Laidlaw and Dr. Walter whose opinions based upon general medical practice, went to show that she had been subjected to what is ‘known as pulmonary embolism’, which had caused practical asphyxiation, rather than excessive hemorrhage.

Dr. Campbell Laidlaw explained to the court that pulmonary embolism was a rare
occurrence, but was met with in childbirth cases, and that it meant the forcing of a clot of blood through the arteries to the right chamber of the heart where it lodges, causing
suffocation. There is today, no known preventive or cure in medical science for this disease, which almost in every case results in death, it was asserted.

May 23 1924


Dr Johnson House

Address: Bridge Street, Carleton Place, Ontario

Originally owned by Robert Bell, the property first held a white frame home.
The present house was built in 1902 by Dr. M.A. MacFarlane, who fashioned the red brick home after a house in Scotland.
After Dr. MacFarlane’s death, the house was rented to Doctor’s Downing and Ferrill.
In 1924 Dr. Allen Johnson bought the home, and with his wife Annie established a medical practice  that was to last 45 year
October 17 1942

The Sad Tale of Unwed Mothers of Days Gone By — Perth through the Ages Tour

The Trial of Ann Glascott

Women in Peril 1868 — Mathilda Routh

The Very Sad Tale of Hessie Churchill

To Be Manic Depressive in a Rural Town — Kingston Insane Asylum


About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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