Publication information
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Source: Canada Lancet
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The President’s ‘Alien’ Nurse”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 35
Issue number: 2
Pagination: 104-05

“The President’s ‘Alien’ Nurse.” Canada Lancet Oct. 1901 v35n2: pp. 104-05.
full text
William McKinley (medical care: criticism: personal response).
Named persons
Ida McKinley; William McKinley; Maud Mohan; Roswell Park.
The editorial referred to below can be viewed by clicking here.


The President’s “Alien” Nurse

IN an editorial reference to the lamented death of President McKinley The Detroit Medical Journal, a publication issued by the J. F. Hurtz Co. in criticising the management of the case, mentions especially that “not only was Mrs. McKinley very carefully excluded from the sick room but her spouse was left to the ‘rule of thumb’ care of an alien ‘trained’ nurse.” Of the many criticisms of the case which we have noticed, this appears to us to be the most unhappy, unjust and uncalled for. In the profession of medicine, so cosmopolitan, so wide in its sympathies, so little influenced by the jealousies, narrowness and bigotry that divide people politically or religiously, it is fortunately rare that such an example of petty prejudice and intolerance appears as is displayed by the writer in question. It is not necessary, nor do we pretend to offer any defence for either the Canadian nurse who attended the President nor for the doctors who recommended her services. They no doubt, had no other object to serve than their patient’s welfare, and they were in the best position to judge of the fitness of the nurse in whose charge they left him.
     That the Canadian Training Schools maintain as high an educational standard and graduate nurses who are as thoroughly qualified for their professional duties, as any country in the world, is a fact that should be well known among our American friends, since a considerable proportion of the highest appointments in their best hospitals are held by Canadian graduates. During the President’s illness it was no alien sympathy and interest which Canadians felt, and we doubt if his death was more deeply deplored or caused more sincere sorrow in the great republic itself than throughout the Dominion of Canada. The general sympathy displayed seemed to draw closer the two great branches of the English speaking [104][105] people on this continent and its effect will not be lessened by any such exhibitions of puerile bigotry as we have referred to. It may possibly interest the writer of the editorial to learn that Miss Maud Mohan, of Brockville, the nurse in question, was alien only in birth, not in training, as she was trained in the Buffalo General Hospital, graduating from that institution in 1898, after which time she continued her professional services under Dr. Roswell Park.



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