“These words were used in reference to the Jane Crookall Maternity Home when it was opened nine years ago. It cannot be denied that it has filled an important place in the national life of the island, and the general body of the Manx people have shown their appreciation by generous responses to its funds year after year.
Having said that much it is now my painful duty (writes an “Examiner” representative) to complain, on behalf of the public, against the unChristian attitude adopted towards an expectant mother who was anxious to avail herself “of the comforts and skilled attention offered.”
This particular mother-to-be made the usual application for admission to the Home and her name was put on “the waiting list.” In the course of time, she presented herself at the institution… it was in the early hours of the morning and her condition was quickly approaching the critical stage… Imagine her mental stress when she was told she could not be admitted because the child she was soon to bear had not been “sanctified” by the ceremony of marriage!
…Just another unfortunate girl, and more unfortunate because the powers in control of this public, or at least semi-public institution, had laid it down that no unmarried mother should be given “comfort and skilled attention” within its walls during the biggest crisis that womanhood has to face.
“I am deeply interested in maternity work and the welfare of the mother and her baby” said Lady Butler when presiding at the last annual meeting of the Home, “for I have seen some of the frightful things that can happen if that work is not properly carried out.”
In this case, the expectant mother was denied admission, and some “frightful thing” might have happened had she not been able to obtain attention in another institution… and one administered by a department of the Island’s Government and which, in ordinary circumstances, might be expected to be more difficult to enter than one so largely financed by public subscriptions.
Turned away from the Maternity Home, the anguished girl was taken to the Braddan Infirmary where the staff showed much of the milk of human kindness towards her… and barely an hour after her admission, her baby came into the world.
With all the power at my command, I protest against the treatment accorded to this girl by those in charge of the Maternity Home and more so, because this is the third time such a thing has happened although this news has only been revealed as an outcome of the present case. Common humanity demands shelter and attention to any woman facing childbirth, and the attitude adopted by the committee of the Home is incomprehensible, to say the least of it.
The matter has been the subject of correspondence between the Mental Hospital Board, the administrators of the Mental Hospital and Infirmary, and the Maternity Home authorities, and if any disclosure will result in an official statement giving an assurance that such an inhuman thing will never happen again, the public conscience will be satisified.