Newspaper Article 1960 – Anaesthetic led to death of Hastings man

Coroner finds:

Anaesthetic led to death of Hastings man

PA   Palmerston North.

The district coroner, Mr G.H. Lusk, decided yesterday that the administration of an anaesthetic at the Palmerston North Hospital caused the death of a well-known dairy farmer, Daniel Guerin Begley (58), Hastings, who was injured in a motor accident on the Foxton-Himatangi highway on October 4 last.

Mr Begley was chairman of directors of the Heretaunga Dairy Company.

The coroner added, however, that before administering the anaesthetic a doctor had inquired into Mr Begley’s medical history and found no apparent reason against giving it.

In a deposition taken at Hastings, Mrs Victoria Begley, the widow, said she and her husband had been driving to Wellington to attend a dairy industry gathering in his honour at which a painting of her husband was to be unveiled.

Her husband had been in poor health and during the journey had stretched out on the back seat of the car while she drove.

Mrs Begley said she had been driving very carefully, but on the Himatangi straight the car veered to the left and struck a parked car. The car door opened and her husband was thrown out on to the road.

Dr. P. Kenealy said Mr Begley had been suffering from a serious heart disease and was not a good “anaesthetic risk.”

“I have no doubt that he died as the result of the administration of the anaesthetic,” he added.

To the coroner, Dr. Kenealy said that Mr Begley’s expectation of life would not have been very long. None of his injuries, however, could have endangered his life.

Finding that death was due to the administration of the anaesthetic, the coroner said that from the evidence it appeared that Mr Begley’s heart and lungs were grossly diseased, but that the hospital authorities were not aware of this and, if they had known, other measures might have been taken.

Original digital file


Non-commercial use

Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ)

This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ).


Commercial Use

Please contact us for information about using this material commercially.

Format of the original

Newspaper article

Date published



Accession number


Do you know something about this record?

Please note we cannot verify the accuracy of any information posted by the community.

Supporters and sponsors

We sincerely thank the following businesses and organisations for their support.