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She was a Rubbish Eater

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    She was a Rubbish Eater

    Has anyone seen this comment added (in brackets) to the Death Certificate section, 'Cause of Death'?

    "She was a Rubbish Eater" (Main reason being acute peritonitis due to perforated ulcer)

    The year is 1908 and my Ancestor at death was 35 years old. I have also found a variety of admissions to the Workhouse or Asylum for her over her last 21 years. Surely this statement is not a glowing testament to the quality of food given to her in these Institutions?

    #2
    Just to add, she died in Leavesden Asylum and I have just noticed a wikipedia entry for Leavesden - 'it opened as the Metropolitan Asylum for Chronic Imbeciles in 1870'. Also a 'Jack the Ripper' suspect had been admitted there in 1894.

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      #3
      It sounds like pica -a disorder when people eat inedible things compulsively.

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        #4
        Thankyou for that comment. I had never heard of that disorder. That now puts a completely different light on the comment. I had been thinking of 'a rubbish eater' more in todays environment, but now guess, she actually was a 'rubbish' eater.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Jill on the A272 View Post
          It sounds like pica -a disorder when people eat inedible things compulsively.
          Agree. While working as a nurse, I saw a couple of patients admitted for intestinal obstruction d/t the odds and ends they had consumed. These were both institutionalized people.

          Not sure how that would tie in to perforated ulcer tho? Of course, the peeps I saw were receiving treatment that patients in the early 1900s would not have received. Perhaps untreated (or perhaps because of what they had eaten? Sharp objects?) it would progress to the perf'd ulcer.
          ------------------------------------------------------
          My Families
          London-area Coverly Family Finder DNA Project

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            #6
            There are lots of mental health reasons people may have to explain eating inedible things, but it could just be plain old dumpster diving. She may have eaten "rubbish" in terms of food waste, or food that was rotten due to homelessness? You said you have many entries for comings and goings to workhouses and mental health institutions. Sounds like homeless and mentally ill.

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