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Dr. Mary Amanda Dixon Jones Trials: 1890 & 1892

The Manslaughter Case

In the face of increasing public outcry over the newspaper series, the district attorney brought charges of manslaughter against Dixon Jones and her son, Charles Dixon Jones, in February 1890. She was charged with two manslaughter counts and eight malpractice suits. However, the trial centered around only one of the manslaughter cases, based on an episode reported in the Eagle.

In that case, a woman patient, Ida Hunt, had died after being removed to her home following an operation to remove her diseased ovaries. Her parents, husband and the newspaper claimed that Mrs. Hunt had not desired the operation, and when it was bungled, Dixon Jones prematurely sent her home. The carriage ride home led to her death the next day. In defense, Dixon Jones provided expert witnesses who testified to her medical reputation and education, to the standards of medicine at the time, and to the fact that Mrs. Hunt suffered a diseased set of ovaries from a venereal infection caught from her husband. Further witnesses testified that Mrs. Hunt and her husband both insisted on her removal from the hospital. So if her short stay and trip home contributed to her death, the decision was not the doctor's but the patient's.

The judge directed the jury to acquit Charles Dixon Jones for lack of evidence early in the trial. The jury returned a not guilty verdict on Mary Dixon Jones. Although Mary Dixon Jones and her husband had lived separately for many years, he attended her manslaughter trial, and then died of heart failure shortly after the verdict was announced.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1883 to 1917Dr. Mary Amanda Dixon Jones Trials: 1890 1892 - Able Doctor Or "difficult Woman"?, The Manslaughter Case, The Libel Suit