Robert M. Hansell - Physician

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Robert M. Hansell - Physician

Postby admin » October 31st, 2010, 6:09 pm

THE COURT: Is this your next witness, Mr. Erbecker?

MR. ERBECKER: Yes, Your Honor.


ROBERT M. HANSELL , a witness called on behalf of the defendant Gertrude Baniszewski,
being duly sworn by the court, testified as follows:


Q. State your name, sir.

A. Robert M. Hansell.

Q. h-a-n-s-e-l-l?

A. That is correct.

Q. What is your business or profession?

A. I am a physician.

Q. Where is your office?

A. 6049 East Washington.

Q. When were you admitted to practice your profession?

A. 1939.

Q. Where did you graduate?

A. Indiana University.

Q. Do you know the defendant in this case, Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. Yes.

Q. When did you first see her and treat her?

A. 1959.

Q. 1959, at your office?

A. Yes.

Q. What was the occasion of that?

A. I think she came in because she was nervous and anxious and had sort of a nervous indigestion story.

Q. Did you treat her?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you prescribe?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained.

Q. When did you next see her, Doctor?

A. I next saw her in September, '58.

Q. September when?

A. September '58.

Q. I thought you saw her the first time in '59?

A. I beg your pardon, March, '58.

Q. Alright, what was the occasion of that?

A. She had a rather severe case of bronchitis.

Q. What do you mean a rather severe? What manifestation, what evidence did you see?

A. My memory does not serve me that far back. I had only written a very sketchy note, she had bronchitis.

Q. Did you prescribe treatment?

A. Yes.

Q. What was it?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. In 1959, when she complained of nervousness, did you prescribe for her nerves?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. When did you next see her, Doctor?

A. I saw her in December.

Q. What year?

A. '58.

Q. What was the occasion of that?

A. She had a small burn on the right hip.

Q. What?

A. A small burn on the right hip.

Q. Was there anything else you saw her for?

A. I saw her and the kids off and on for the next few years, up till May, 1960.

Q. You saw her and the kids off and on till 1960 in May?

A. Yes.

Q. Is that the last time you saw her, May 1960?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How many times did you see her from May 1958 till 1960?

A. I suppose a dozen and a half.

Q. A dozen and a half times?

A. Yes.

Q. Do your records reflect what for each time?

A. Yes.

Q. What was it?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Overruled as to that question. Go on and answer it. What was it for?

A. Each particular time?

Q. Yes.

A. In September 25, 1958, she had not yet recovered from bronchitis and came back, although she was improved. December 5, 1958, she returned again because of another bronchial infection, and December 26, the third degree burn I was talking about, the 29th of December to redress the burn. January 1, redress the burn. February 15th, I gave her medication for her nerves.

Q. What kind of medication?

A. One of the relaxing agents, one of the tranquilizers called Quiactin. I saw a couple of the kids a while.

Q. You what?

THE COURT: Not the children, just her.

A. I am having to shuffle through. This is the whole family. June 23, 1959, she had infection, another bronchial infection. I prescribed medication. July 20, 1959, I saw her because she was anxious and tense and nervous. November 28, 1959, another bronchial infection.

Q. Infection?

A. Bronchitis, sir. January 4, 1960, the same diagnosis.

Q. What is that?

A. Bronchitis.

Q. Did you prescribe anything those times?

A. Yes.

Q. What?

A. A drug called Penalba.

Q. Go ahead.

A. February 1, 1960, she was having some asthma and more bronchitis. In February, 1960, she came in because of a nodule in her breast and I examined her and arranged to get her to go to the hospital.

Q. What hospital did she go to?

A. St. Francis.

Q. How long was she hospitalized? If you know?

A. She put it off and did not go when she was supposed to. She said she was scared. I saw her February 18 and gave her some different nerve medicine, trying to get her settled down and April 11, 1960, I saw her because of a kidney infection. Finally the 26th of April, we arranged for her to go to the St. Francis Hospital May 3.

Q. Did she go?

A. She went.

Q. Did you attend her out there?

A. I saw her but she became scared and almost hysterical and refused to have the surgery done.

Q. Did you see her after that, Doctor?

A. That was the last time I saw her.

Q. Now, Doctor, basing your answer on the periods of time you saw her from 1958 up to April 26, 1960, including the episode - Doctor, basing your answer on the experience you testified you had with her, including the first time you saw her and attended her, and all the subsequent time you attended her, including April 26, 1960 and the episode at St. Francis where she was scared and hysterical, would you classify her as a nervous type of person?

A. Yes, indeed.

Q. Extreme or average or what?

A. Until the episode in the hospital, I would have called her an average, anxious, tense person.

Q. What would you call her now, including the episode in the hospital?

A. After that I thought she was pretty severely tense and anxious, what we call an anxiety state.

MR. ERBECKER: Nothing further.

THE COURT: Cross examine?


Q. Dr. Hansell, I gathered from your experience with Mrs. Baniszewski, instead of inviting punishment on herself, she rejected it?

A. I don't know quite what you meant.

Q. You said she was afraid of the surgeon?

A. I don't know whether she was afraid of surgery or afraid of the anesthetic.

Q. At any rate she was afraid to go through it?

A. Yes.

Q. You found no evidence of inviting any harm to her or hers?

A. No.

Q. There has been some testimony here indicating -

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q. There has been some testimony indicating she might be a masochist. Do you understand what that is?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you find any such manifestations?

A. No.

MR. NEW: That is all.

MR. RICE: We have no questions.

MR. BOWMAN: We have none.

MR. NEDEFF: No, sir.


Q. Did you examine to see if she had tendencies of masochism?

A. I found no evidence.

Q. Did you examine her for that?

A. No, sir.

MR. ERBECKER: Nothing further.


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