A retired bank manager was told “shush, you'll waken the patients” when he cried with pain in hospital, a medical negligence case has heard.
An auxiliary nurse is alleged to have asked Brian Magill to be quiet before she returned to her station seat at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.
Alwyn Trimble, a patient in the next bed, also claimed no doctor attended when the incident occurred a week before 66-year-old Mr Magill died.
Giving evidence in the lawsuit brought by the dead man's widow Bernie, Mr Trimble said he was wakened in the early hours of December 23, 1999 by Mr Magill crying out: “Oh my God, oh my God this is never going to stop.”
He told the High Court that he went to the nurses' area and informed three members of staff sitting in armchairs. “I then went back to my bed and the auxiliary nurse followed me down,” Mr Trimble said.
“She said ‘Shush Mr Magill, you'll waken the patients' and she went back to her station again, back to her armchair.”
A week after the alleged incident, Mr Magill died in disputed circumstances at Belfast City Hospital.
His wife, a university lecturer from Portrush, Co Antrim, is suing those who treated him during the final weeks of his life.
Although a post-mortem report attributed death to liver cancer, Mrs Magill has alleged it was due to blood poisoning after a bile duct was perforated in a blundered medical procedure.
During cross-examination Fraser Elliott QC, for the Royal, contended that it would be wrong to interpret the nurse's alleged remarks as telling Mr Magill to “keep quiet and not make a nuisance of himself”. The barrister put it to Mr Trimble that it should be seen as a caring request to keep his voice down.
“You are not seeking to invite the court to draw an inference that Mr Magill was other than adequately treated well,” he said.
But in response to further questioning by Mrs Magill, the witness stated that, based on his experience, he was not a well man that night.
The case continues.